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" The leorfr of righteousness shall be. peace ; and the effect of righteousness 
quietness and assurance for ever." ISAIAH \xxiii. 17. 




TESTIMONY of Friends in Yorkshire, at their 
Quarterly -meeting held at York, the ^Ath and 
2bth of the third month, 1773, concerning JOHN 
WOOLMAN, of Mount Holly, in the Province of 
New Jersey, in America, who departed this life 
at the hous? of our friend Thomas Priestman, in 
the suburbs of this City, the 1th of the \0th month, 
1772, and was interred in the burial-ground of 
friends the 9th of the same, aged about fifty-two 

THIS our valuable friend, having been under a 
religious engagement for some time, to visit friends 
in this nation, and more especially us in the north 
ern parts, undertook the same in full concurrence 
and near sympathy with his friends and brethren at 
home ; as appeared by certificates from the monthly 
and quarterly meetings to which he belonged, and 
from the spring meeting of ministers and elders, 
held at Philadelphia, for Pennsylvania and New 

He arrived in the city of London the beginning 
of the last yearly meeting,, and after attending that 
meeting, travelled northward,, visiting the quar 
terly meetings of Hertfordshire,, Buckinghamshire, 
Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, and Worcester 
shire, and divers particular meetings in his way. 

He visited many meetings on the west side of 
this county, also some in Lancashire and West 
moreland, from whence he came to our quarterly 
meeting- in the last ninth month, and, though much 
out of health, yet was enabled to attend all the 
sittings of that meeting except the last. 

His disorder then, which proved the small-pox, 
increased speedily upon him, and was very afflict 
ing ; under which he was supported in much meek 
ness, patience, and Christian fortitude. To those 
who attended him in his illness, his mind appeared 
to be centered in divine love ; under the precious 
influence whereof we believe he finished his course, 
and entered into the mansions of everlasting rest 

In the early part of his illness he requested a 
friend to write, and he broke forth thus. 

ff O Lord my God ! the amazing horrors of 
darkness were gathered around me and covered me 
all over, and I saw no way to go forth ; I felt the 
misery of my fellow creatures separated from the 
divine harmony, and it was heavier than I could 
bear, and I was crushed down under it; I lifted 
up my hand, and stretched out my arm, but there 
was none to help me. I looked round about, and 
was amazed : in the depth of misery, O Lord ! I 
remembered that thou art omnipotent, that I had 
called thee father, and I felt that I loved thee, and 
I was made quiet in thy will, and I waited for 
deliverance from thee ; thou hadst pity upon me, 
when no man could help me ; I saw that meekness 
under suffering was shewed to us in the most affect 
ing example of thy Son, and thou wast teaching me 


to follow him ; and I said, thy Will, O Father, be 

Many more of his weighty expressions might 
have been inserted here ; I nit it was deemed un 
necessary, they being already published in print. 

He was a man endued with a large natural ca 
pacity ; arid, being obedient to the manifestations 
of Divine Grace, having in patience and humility 
endured many deep baptisms, he became thereby 
sanctified and fitted for the Lord s work, and was 
truly serviceable in his Church. Dwelling in awful 
fear and watchfulness, he was careful in his public 
appearances to feel the putting forth of the Divine 
Hand ; so that the spring of the gospel ministry 
often flowed through him with great sweetness and 
purity, as a refreshing stream to the weary travel 
lers towards the city of God. Skilful in dividing 
the word, he was furnished by Him in whom are 
hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, to 
communicate freely to the several states of the 
people where his lot was cast. His conduct at 
other times was seasoned with like watchful circum 
spection and attention to the guidance of Divine 
wisdom, which rendered his whole conversation 
uniformly edifying. 

He was fully persuaded that, as the life of Christ 
comes to reign in the earth, all abuse and unne 
cessary oppression, both of the human and brute 
creation, will coins to an end ; but under the sense 
of a deep revolt, and an overflowing stream of 
unrighteousness, his life has been often a life of 

He was deeply concerned on account of that 
inhuman and iniquitous practice of making slaves 
of the people of Africa, or holding them in that 
state ; and on that account, we understand he hath 
not only written some books, but travelled much on 
the continent of America, in order to make the 
negro-masters (especially those in profession with 
us) sensible of the evil of such a practice ; and, 
though in this journey to England, he was far 
removed from the outward sign of their sufferings, 
yet his deep exercise of mind remained ; as appears 
by a short treatise he wrote in this journey, and 
frequent concern to open the miserable state of 
this deeply injured people. His testimony in the 
last meeting he attended was on this subject, where 
in he remarked, that, as we as a society, when 
under outward sufferings, had often fonnd it our 
concern to lay them before those in authority, and 
thereby, in the Lord s time, had obtained relief, 
so he recommended this oppressed part of the cre 
ation to our notice ; that we may, as way may 
open, represent their sufferings in an individual, if 
not a society capacity to those in authority. 

Deeply sensible that the desire to gratify people s 
inclinations in luxury and superfluities is the prin 
cipal ground of oppression, arid the occasion of 
many unnecessary wants, he believed it to be his 
duty to be a pattern of great self-denial, with re 
spect to the things of this life, and earnestly to 
labour with friends in the meekness of wisdom, to 
impress on their minds the great importance of our 
testimony in these things, recommending to the 

guidance of the blessed Truth in this and all other 
concerns, and cautioning such as are experienced 
therein, against contenting themselves with acting 
up to the standard of others, but to be careful to 
make the standard of Truth,, manifested to them, the 
measure of their obedience. <f For/ said he, ee that 
purity of life which proceeds from faithfulness in 
following the Spirit of Truth, that state where our 
minds are devoted to serve God, and all our wants 
are bounded by his wisdom : this habitation has 
often been opened before me as a place of retire 
ment for the children of the light, where they may 
stand separated from that which disordereth arid 
confuseth the affairs of society, and where we have 
a testimony of our innocence in the hearts of those 
who behold us." 

We conclude with fervent desires, that we as a 
people may thus, by our example, promote the 
Lord s work in the earth; and, our hearts being 
prepared, may unite in prayer to the great Lord 
of the harvest, that, as in his infinite wisdom he 
hath greatly stripped the church, by removing of 
late divers faithful ministers and elders, he may be 
pleased to send forth many more faithful labourers 
into his harvest. 

A TESTIMONY of the Monthly Meeting of Friends, 
held in Burlington, the first day of the eighth 
month, in the year of our Lord, 1774, concerning 
our esteemed friend, JOHN WOOL MAN, deceased. 

HE was born in Northampton, in the county of 
Burlington, and province of West New Jersey, in 
the eighth month, 1720, of religious parents, who 
instructed him very early in the principles of the 
Christian religion, as professed by the people called 
Quakers ; which he esteemed a blessing to him, 
even in his younger years, tending to preserve him 
from the infection of wicked children : but through 
the workings of the enemy, and levity incident to 
youth, he frequently deviated from those parental 
precepts ; by which he laid a renewed foundation 
for repentance, that was finally succeeded by a 
godly sorrow not to be repented of; and so became 
acquainted with that sanctifying power which qua 
lifies for true gospel ministry, into which he was 
called about the twenty-second year of his age ; 
and, by a faithful use of the talents committed to 
him, he experienced an increase, until he arrived 
at the state of a father, capable of dividing the word 
aright to the different states he ministered unto ; 
dispensing milk to babes, and meat to those of 

riper years. Thus he found the efficacy of that 
power to arise,, which in his own expressions, "pre 
pares the creature to stand like a trumpet through 
which the Lord speaks to his people/ He was a 
loving husband, a tender father, and very humane 
to every part of the creation under his care. 

His concern for the poor and those in affliction 
was evident by his visits to them, whom he fre 
quently relieved by his assistance and charity. He 
was for many years deeply exercised on account of 
the poor enslaved Africans, whose cause, as he some 
times mentioned, lay almost continually upon him; 
and to obtain liberty to those captives, belaboured 
both in public and in private, and was favoured to 
see his endeavours crowned with considerable suc 
cess. He was particularly desirous that friends 
should not be instrumental to lay burdens on this 
oppressed people, but remember the days of suffer 
ing from which they had been providentially deli 
vered ; that, if times of trouble should return, no 
injustice dealt to those in slavery might rise in judg 
ment against us, but being clear, we might on such 
occasions address the Almighty with a degree of 
confidence for his interposition and relief; being 
particularly careful as to himself, not to counte 
nance slavery even by the use of those conveniences 
of life which were furnished by their labour. 

He was desirous to have his own, and the minds 
of others, redeemed from the pleasures and immo 
derate profits of this world, and to fix them on 
those joys which fade not away ; his principal care 
being after a life of purity, endeavouring to avoid 


not only the grosser pollutions) but those also 
which, appearing in a more refined dress, are not 
sufficiently guarded against by some well-disposed 
people. In the latter part of his life he was remark 
able for the plainness and simplicity of his dress, 
and as much as possible, avoided the use of plate, 
costly furniture and feasting ; thereby endeavouring 
to become an example of temperance and self-de 
nial, which he believed himself called unto ; and 
was favoured with peace therein, although it carried 
the appearance of great austerity in the view of 
some. He was very moderate in his charges in the 
way of business, and in his desires after gain ; and, 
though a man of industry, avoided, and strove much 
to lead others out of extreme labour and anxious- 
ness after perishable things ; being desirous that the 
strength of our bodies might not be spent in pro 
curing things unprofitable, and that we might use 
moderation and kindness to the brute animals un 
der our care, to prize the use of them as a great 
favour, and by no means abuse them ; that the 
gifts of Providence should be thankfully received 
and applied to the uses they were designed for. 

He several times opened a school at Mount 
Holly, for the instruction of poor friends children 
and others; being concerned for their help and 

improvement therein. His love and care for the 

rising youth among us was truly great, recommend 
ing to parents and those who have the charge of 
them, to chuse conscientious and pious tutors ; say 
ing, " It is a lovely sight to behold innocent chil 
dren/ and that, l< - to labour for their help against 


that which would mar the beauty of their minds., is 
a debt we owe them/ 

His ministry was sound, very deep and penetra 
ting, sometimes pointing out the dangerous situation 
which indulgence and custom lead into ; frequently 
exhorting others, especially the youth, not to be 
discouraged at the difficulties which occur, but to 
press after purity. He often expressed an earnest 
engagement that pure wisdom should be attended 
to, which would lead into lowliness of mind and 
resignation to the divine will, in which state small 
possessions here would be sufficient. 

In transacting the affairs of discipline, his judg 
ment was sound and clear^. and he was very useful 
in treating with those who had done amiss ; he vi 
sited such in a private way in that plainness which 
truth dictates, showing great tenderness and Chris 
tian forbearance. He was a constant attender of 
our yearly-meeting, in which he was a good exam 
ple., and particularly useful ; assisting in the business 
thereof with great weight and attention. He seve 
ral times visited most of the meetings of friends in 
this and the neighbouring provinces, with the con 
currence of the monthly-meeting to which he be 
longed, and we have reason to believe had good 
service therein ; generally or always expressing at 
his return how it had fared with him, and the evi 
dence of peace in his rnind for thus performing his 
duty. He was often concerned with other friends in 
the important service of visiting families, which he 
was enabled to go through to satisfaction. 

In the minutes of the meeting of ministers and 


elders for this quarter, at the foot of a Jist of the 
members of that meeting, made about five years 
before his death, we find in his hand-writing the 
following observation and reflections. Cf As looking 
over the minutes made by persons who have put off 
this body, hath sometimes revived in me a thought 
how ages pass away ; so this list may probably re 
vive a like thought in some, when 1, and the rest of 
the persons above-named,, are centered in another 
state of being. The Lord, who was the guide of 
my youth, hath in tender mercies helped me hi 
therto ; he hath healed me of wounds, he hath help 
ed me out of grievous entanglements ; he remains 
to be the strength of my life ; to whom I desire to 
devote myself in time, and in eternity." 

(Signed,) JOHN WOOLMAN. 

In the twelfth month, 1771, he acquainted this 
meeting that he found his mind drawn towards a 
religious visit to friends in some parts of England, 
particularly in Yorkshire. In the first month, 1772, 
he obtained our certificate, which was approved 
and indorsed by our quarterly meeting, and by the 
half year s meeting of ministers and elders at Phila 
delphia. He embarked on his voyage in the fifth, 
and arrived in London in the sixth month follow 
ing, at the time of their annual meeting in that 
city. During his short visit to friends in that king 
dom, we are informed that his services were accept 
able and edifying In his last illness he uttered 
many lively and comfortable expressions, being, 
f. perfectly resigned, having no will cither to live or 


die/* as appears by the testimony of friends at York 
in Great Britain, in the suburbs whereof, at the house 
of our friend T homas Priestman, he died of the small 
pox, on the seventh day of the tenth month, 1772, 
and was buried in friends burial ground in that city, 
on the ninth of the same, after a solid meeting, held 
on the occasion, at their great meeting-house, He 
was aged near fifty-two, a minister upwards of 
thirty years, during which time he belonged to 
Mount Holly particular meeting, which he diligently 
attended when at home and in health of body, and 
his labours of love and pious care for the prosperity 
of friends in the blesssed Truth, we hope, may not 
be forgotten, but that his good works may be re 
membered to edification. 

Signed in, and by order of the said meeting, by 


Read and approved at our quarterly-meeting, held 
at Burlington, the 29th of the 8th month, 1774. 

Signed by order of said meeting, 










His birth and parentage, with some account of the 
operations of divine grace on his mind in his youth 
His first appearance in the ministry and his 
considerations, white young, on the keeping of 

I HAVE often felt a motion of love to leave some 
hints in writing of my experience of the goodness of 
God ; and now, in the thirty-sixth year of my age, 
I begin this work. 

I was born in Northampton, in Burlington coun 
ty, West Jersey, in the year 1720; and before I 
was seven years old I began to be acquainted with 
the operations of divine love. Through the care of 


my parents, I was taught to read near as soon as I 
was capable of it ; and as I went from school one 
seventh day, I remember, while my companions 
went to play by the way, I went forward out of 
sight, and sitting down I read the 22nd chapter of 
the Revelations. " He showed me a pure river of 
water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the 
throne of God and of the Lamb, &c." and in reading- 
it, my mind was drawn to seek after that pure habi 
tation, which, I then believed, God had prepared for 
his servants. The place where I sat, and the sweet 
ness that attended my mind, remains fresh in my 

This, and the like gracious visitations, had that 
effect upon me, that when boys used ill language, it 
troubled me ; and, through the continued mercies of 
God, I was preserved from if. 

The pious instructions of my parents were often 
fresh in my mind when 1 happened to be among 
wicked children, and were of use to me. My pa 
rents, having a large family of children, used fre 
quently, on first-days after meeting, to put us to 
read in the holy scriptures, or some religious books, 
one after another, the rest sitting by without much 
conversation ; which, I have since often thought, 
was a good practice. From what I had read and 
heard, I believed there had been, in past ages, peo 
ple who walked in uprightness before God, in a de 
gree exceeding any that I knew or heard of, now 
living : and the apprehension of there being less 
steadiness and firmness amongst people in this age 
than in past ages, often troubled me while I was a 

/ 17 

Jr* tiling remarkable in my childhood was, that 
/ once going to a neighbour s house,, 1 saw on the 
/ \vay a robin sitting on her nest, and as I came 
near she went off, but having young ones,, flew 
about, and with many cries expressed her concern 
for them ; I stood and threw stones at her, until 
one striking her, she fell down dead. At first I was 
pleased with the exploit, but after a few minutes was 
seized with horror, as having, in a sportive way, 
killed an innocent creature while she was careful for 
her young. 1 beheld her lying dead, and thought 
those young ones, for which she was so careful, 
must now perish for want of their dam to nourish 
them ; and after some painful considerations on 
the subject, I climbed up the tree, took ail the 
young birds, and killed them ; supposing that bet 
ter than to leave them to pine away and die mise 
rably : arid believed, in this case, that scripture 
proverb was ful filled, fc The tender mercies of the 
wicked are cruel." I then went on my errand, but, 
for some hours, could think of little else but the 
cruelties I had committed, and was much troubled. 
Thus He, whose tender mercies are over all his 

*"*,, MW ,,^:n.t,f"- x-~ - " ^^ ~ ^:*>l*U->- nw:*^<^ 

works, hath placed a principle in the human mind, 

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which incites to exercise goodness towards ever^, 

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living creature; and this being singly attende44^ 
jM>ople become tender-hearted and sympathizing 
but EeThffTrequenTT^^ reiect.qdJPKe mind 

^^A^.^^^.^.^^^i^^ - . . " ta*a 

becomes shut up in a contrary disposition. 

About tE e Twelftri ^eair^oT^Sfiy age, my fathe 
being abroad, my mother reproved me for some 
misconduct, to which I made an undutiful reply ; 



and the next first clay, as I was with my father re 
turning from meeting, he told me he understood I 
had behaved amiss to my mother, and advised me 
to be more careful in future. I knew myself blame- 
able, and in shame and confusion remained silent. 
Being thus awakened to a sense of my wickedness, 
I felt remorse in my mind, and getting home I re 
tired and prayed to the Lord to forgive me ; and 
do not remember that I ever, after that, spoke 
unhandsomely to either of my parents, however 
foolish in some other things. 

Having attained the age of sixteen years, I began 
to love wanton company; and though I was pre 
served from profane language, or scandalous con 
duct, still I perceived a plant in me which produced 
much wild grapes : yet my merciful Father forsook 
me not utterly, but at times, through his grace, I 
was brought seriously to consider my ways ; and the 
sight of my backslidings affected me with sorrow ; 
but for want of rightly attending to the reproofs of 
instruction, vanity was added to vanity, and repent 
ance to repentance. Upon the whole, my mind was 
more and more alienated from the truth, and I has 
tened toward destruction. While I meditate on the 
gulf towards which I travelled, and reflect on my 
youthful disobedience, for these things I weep, mine 
eye runneth down with water. 

Advancing in age, the number of my acquaint 
ance increased, and thereby my way grew more dif 
ficult. Though I had found comfort in reading the 
holy scriptures, and thinking on heavenly things, I 
was now estranged therefrom : I knew I was going 


from the flock of Christ, and had no resolution to 
return ; hence serious reflections were uneasy to 
me, and youthful vanities and diversions my great 
est pleasure. Running in this road I found many 
like myself; and we associated in that which is re 
verse to true friendship. 

But in this swift race it pleased God to visit me 
with sickness, so that I doubted of recovering; and 
then did darkness, horror, and amazement, with full 
force, seize me, even when my pain and distress of 
body were very great. I thought it would have 
been better for me never to have had a being, than 
to see the day which I now saw. I was filled 
with confusion ; and in great affliction, both of 
mind and body, I lay and bewailed myself. I had 
not confidence to lift up my cries to God, whom I 
had thus offended ; but, in a deep sense of my great 
folly, I was humbled before him. At length, that 
word which is as a fire and a hammer, broke and 
dissolved my rebellious heart, and then my cries 
were put up in contrition ; and in the multitude of 
his mercies I found inward relief, and felt a close 
engagement, that if he was pleased to restore my 
health, I might walk humbly before him. 

After my recovery, this exercise remained with 
me a considerable time ; but, by degrees, giving 
way to youthful vanities, they gained strength, and 
getting with wanton young people, I lost ground. 
The Lord had been very gracious, and spoke peace 
to me in the time of my distress ; and I now most 
ungratefully turned again to folly ; on which ac 
count, at times, I felt sharp reproof, but I did not 



get low enough to cry for help, I was not. so hardy 
as to commit things scandalous ; but to exceed in 
vanity,, and to promote mirth, was my chief study. 
Still I retained a love and esteem for pious people ; 
and their company brought an awe upon me. My 
dear parents several times admonished me in the 
fear of the Lord, and their admonition entered into 
my heart, and had a good effect for a season ; but 
not getting deep enough to pray rightly, the 
tempter, when he came, found entrance. I remem 
ber, once having spent a part of the day in wanton 
ness ; as Iwent to bed at night there lay in a window, 
near my bed, a bible, which I opened, and first cast 
my eye on the text, " We lie down in our shame, 
and our confusion covers us ;" this I knew to be 
my case : and meeting with so unexpected a re 
proof, I was somewhat affected with it, and went to 
bed under remorse of conscience ; which I soon cast 
off again. 

Thus time past on ; my heart was replenished 
with mirth and wantonness, while pleasing scenes 
of vanity were presented to my imagination, till I 
attained the age of eighteen years ; near which time 
I felt the judgments of God, in my soul, like a con 
suming tire; and looking over my past life, the 
prospect was moving I was often sad, and lunged 
to be delivered from those vanities ; then again, my 
heart was strongly inclined to them, and there was 
in me a sore conflict. At times I turned to folly ; 
and then again, sorrow and confusion took hold of 
me. In a while I resolved totally to leave off some 
of my vanities; but there was a secret reserve in 


my heart, of the more refined part of them, and I 
was not low enough to find true peace. Thus, for 
some months,, I had "Teat troubles ; there remain 
ing in me an unsu! jected will, which rendered my 
labours fruitless., till at length, through the merciful 
continuance of heavenly visitations, I was made to 
bow down in spirit before the Lord. 1 remember 
one evening I had spent some time in reading a pious 
author ; and walking out alone, I humbly prayed 
to the Lord for his help, that I might be delivered 
from all those vanities which so ensnared me. Thus 
being brought low, he helped me ; and as I learned 
to bear the cross, I felt refreshment to come from 
his presence ; but not keeping in that strength 
which gave victory, I lost ground again ; the sense 
of which greatly affected me : and I sought deserts 
and lonely places, and there with tears did con 
fess my sins to God, and humbly craved help of 
him. And I may say with reverence, he was near 
to me in my troubles, and in those times of humi 
liation opened my ear to discipline. 1 was now led 
to look seriously at the means by which I was 
drawn from the pure truth, and learned this, that if ; 
1 would live in the life which the faithful servants 
of God lived in, I must not go into company as I 
heretofore in my own will ; but all the cravings of f 
sense must be governed by a divine principle. In \ 
times of sorrow and abasement these instructions 
were sealed upon me, and I felt the power of 
Christ prevail over selfish desires, so that I was 
preserved in a good degree of steadiness; arid be 
ing young, and believing, at that time, that a single 

life was best for me, I was strengthened to keep 
from such company as had often been a snare to me. 

I kept steadily to meetings ; spent first days af 
ternoon chiefly in reading the scriptures and other 
good books ; and was early convinced in my mind,, 
that true religion consisted in an inward life, where 
in the heart doth love and reverence God the Crea 
tor, and learns to exercise true justice and good 
ness, not only toward all men, but also toward the 
brute creatures that as the mind was moved, by 
an inward principle, to love God as an invisible, in 
comprehensible Being ; by the same principle it 
was moved to love him in all his manifestations in 
the visible world thai, as by his breath, the flame 
of life was kindled in all animal sensible creatures, 
to say we love God as unseen, and at the same time 
exercise cruelty toward the least creature moving 
by his life, or by life derived from him, was a con 
tradiction in itself. 

I found no narrowness respecting sects and opi 
nions ; but believed, that sincere upright hearted 
people, in every society, who truly love God, were 
accepted of him. 

As I lived under the cross, and simply followed 
the openings of truth, my mind, from day to day, 
was more enlightened ; my former acquaintance 
were left to judge of me as they would, for I found 
it safest for me to live in private, and keep these 
things sealed up in my own breast. While I silently 
ponder on that change wrought in me, I find no lan 
guage equal to it, nor any means to convey to an 
other a clear idea of it. I looked upon the works of 


God in this visible creation, and an aw fulness co 
vered me. My heart was tender and often contrite,, 
and universal love to rny fellow-creatures increased 
in me; this will be understood by such who have 
trodden in the same path. Some glances of real 
beauty may be seen in their faces,, who dwell in true 

There is a harmony in the sound of that voice to 
which divine love gives utterance,, and some appear 
ance of right order in their temper and conduct,, 
whose passions are regulated ; yet all these do not 
fully shew forth that inward life to such who have 
not felt it ; but this white stone and new name is 
known rightly to such only who have it. 

Now., though 1 had been thus strengthened to 
bear the cross, I still found myself in great danger,, 
having many weaknesses attending me, and strong 
temptations to wrestle with ; in the feeling whereof 
I frequently withdrew into private places, and often 
with tears besought the Lord to help me., whose 
gracious ear was open to my cry. 

All this time I lived with my parents, and wrought 
on the plantation ; and having had schooling pretty 
well for a planter, 1 used to improve it in winter 
evenings, and other leisure times ; and being now 
in the twenty-first year of my age, a man, in much 
business at shop-keeping and baking, asked me, if 
I would hire with him to tend shop and keep 
books. I acquainted my father with the proposal ; 
and, after some deliberation, it was agreed for me 

At home I had lived retired ; and now having a 

prospect of being much in the way of company, I 
felt frequent and fervent cries in my heart to God, 
the Father of mercies, that he would preserve ine 
from all taint and corruption ; that, in this more 
public employment, I might serve Him, my gra 
cious Redeemer, in that humility and self-denial, 
with which I had been, in a small degree, exercised 
in a more private life. The man, who employed 
me, furnished a shop in Mount Holly, about five 
miles from my father s house, and six from his own ; 
and there I lived alone and tended his shop. Short 
ly after my settlement here, I was visited by several 
young people my former acquaintance, who knew 
not but vanities would be as agreeable to me now 
as ever ; and, at these times, 1 cried to the Lord in 
secret for wisdom and strength ; for I felt myself 
encompassed with difficulties, and had fresh occa 
sion to bewail the follies of time past, in contract 
ing a familiarity with libertine people : and as I 
had now left my father s house outwardly, I found 
my heavenly Father to be merciful to me beyond 
what I can express. 

By day I was much amongst people, and had 
many trials to go .through ; but in the evenings, I 
was mostly alone, and may with thankfulness ac 
knowledge, that in those times the spirit of suppli 
cation was often poured upon me ; under which I 
was frequently exercised, and felt my strength 

In a few months after I came here, my master 
bought several Scotchmen servants, from on board 


a vessel, and brought them to Mount Holly to sell ; 
one of whom was taken sick and died. 

In the latter] part of his sickness, he, being deli 
rious., used to curse and swear most sorrowfully ; 
and the next night after his burial, I was left to 
sleep alone in the same chamber where he died. 
I perceived in me a tirnorousness ; I knew, however, 
I had not injured the man, but assisted in taking 
care of him according to my capacity ; and was not 
free to ask any one, on that occasion, to sleep with 
me. Nature was feeble ; but every trial was a fresh 
incitement to give myself up wholly to the service 
of God, for I found no helper like him in times of 

After a while, my former acquaintance gave over 
expecting me as one of their company ; and I be 
wail to be known to some whose conversation was 


helpful to me. And now, as I had experienced the 
love of God, through Jesus Christ, to redeem me 
from many pollutions, and to be a succour to ine 
through a sea of conflicts, with which no person was 
fully acquainted ; and as my heart was often en 
larged in this heavenly principle, I felt a tender 
compassion for the youth, who remained entangled 
in snares like those which had entangled me, from 
one time to another, This love and tenderness in 
creased ; and my mind was more strongly engaged 
for the good of my fellow-creatures. 1 went to 
meetings in an awful frame of mind, and endea 
voured to be inwardly acquainted with the language 
of the true Shepherd ; and one day being under a 
strong exercise of spirit, 1 stood up, and aid some 

words in a meeting ; but not keeping close to the 
divine opening, I said more than was required of 
me ; and being soon sensible of rny error, I was 
afflicted in mind some weeks, without any light 
or comfort, even to that degree that I could not 
take satisfaction in any thing. I remembered God, 
and was troubled ; and, in the depth of my distress, 
he had pity upon me, and sent the Comforter. I 
then felt forgiveness for my offence, and my mind 
became calm and quiet, being truly thankful to 
my gracious Redeemer for his mercies ; and after 
this,, feeling the spring of divine love opened, and 
a concern to speak, I said a few words in a meet 
ing, in which I found peace. This, I believe, was 
about six weeks from the first time : and as 1 was 
thus humbled and disciplined under the cross, rny 
understanding became more strengthened to distin 
guish the pure spirit which inwardly moves upon 
the heart, and taught me to wait in silence some 
times many weeks together, until I felt that rise 
which prepares the creature to stand like a trumpet 
through which the Lord speaks to his flock. 

From an inward purifying, and stedfast abiding 
under it, springs a lively operative desire for the 
good of others. All the faithful are not called to 
the public ministry ; but whoever are, are called to 
minister of that which they have tasted and han 
dled spiritually. The outward modes of worship 
are various ; but wherever any are true ministers 
of Jesus Christ, it is from the operation of his spirit 
upon their hearts, first purifying them, and thus 
giving them a just sense of the conditions of others. 


This truth was early fixed in my mind ; and I 
was taught to watch the pure opening, and to take 
heed, lest, while I was standing to speak, my own 
will should get uppermost, and cause me to utter 
words from worldly wisdom, and depart from the 
channel of the true gospel ministry. In the ma 
nagement of my outward affairs, I may say with 
thankfulness, I found truth to be rny support ; and 
I was respected in my master s family, who came 
to live in Mount Holly within two years after my 
going there. 

About the twenty-third year of my age, I had 
many fresh and heavenly openings, in respect to the 
care and providence of the Almighty over his crea 
tures in general, and over man as the most noble 
amongst those which are visible. And being clear- 

o o 

ly convinced in my judgment, that to place my 
whole trust in God was best for me, I felt renewed 
engagements, that in all things I might act on an 
inward principle of virtue, and pursue worldly 
business no further, than as truth opened my way 

About the time called Christmas, I observed 
many people from the country, and dwellers in 
town, who, resorting to public-houses, spent their 
time in drinking and vain sports, tending to cor 
rupt one another ; on which account I was much 
troubled. At one house in particular there was 
much disorder ; and I believed it was a duty incum 
bent on me to go and speak to the master of that 
house. I considered 1 was young, and that several 
elderly friends in town had opportunity to see these 


things ; but though 1 would gladly have been ex 
cused, yet I could not feel my mind clear. 

The exercise was heavy ; and as I was reading 
what the Almighty said to Ezekiel, respecting his 
duty as a watchman,, the matter was set home more 
clearly ; and then with prayers and tears, I besought 
the Lord for his assistance, who in loving-kindness, 
gave me a resigned heart. Then, at a suitable op 
portunity, I went to the public-house ; and seeing 
the man amongst much company, I went to him, 
and told him, I wanted to speak with him ; so we 
went aside, and there, in the fear and dread of the 
Almighty, I expressed to him what rested on my 
mind ; which he took kindly, and afterward shewed 
more regard to me than before. In a few years 
afterwards, he died, middle-aged ; and I often 
thought, that had I neglected my duty in that case, 
it would have given me great trouble ; and I was 
humbly thankful to my gracious Father, who had 
supported me herein. 

My employer having a negro woman, sold her, 
and desired me to write a bill of sale, the man being 
waiting who bought her. The thing was sudden ; 
and though the thoughts of writing an instrument 
of slavery for one of my fellow-creatures felt uneasy, 
yet I remembered I was hired by the year, that it 
was my master who directed me to do it, and that 
it was an elderly man, a member of our society, 
who bought her; so, through weakness, I gave 
way, and wrote it ; but, at the executing it, I was 
so afflicted in my mind, that I said, before my mas- 


ter and the friend,, that I believed slave- keeping to 
be a practice inconsistent with the Christian reli 
gion. This, in some degree,, abated my uneasiness ; 
yet as often as 1 reflected seriously upon it, I 
thought I should have been clearer,, if I had desired 
to be excused from it, as a thing against my con 
science ; for such it was. And some time after this, 
a young man, of our society, spoke to me to write 
a conveyance of a slave to him ; he having lately 
taken a negro into his house. I told him, I was not 
easy to write it ; for, though many of our meeting 
and in other places kept slaves, I still believed the 
practice was not right ; and desired to be excused 
from the writing. I spoke to him in good will ; 
and he told me, that keeping slaves was not alto 
gether agreeable to his mind ; but that the slave 
being a gift made to his wife, he had accepted of 


His first journey, on a religious visit, into East 
Jersey, in company with Abraham Farrington. 
His thoughts on merchandizing, and his learning 
a trade. His second journey, with Isaac Andrews 
into Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and 
North Carolina. His third journey with Peter 
Andrews, through part of the West and East 
Jersey. Some account of his sister Elizabeth, and 
her death. His fourth journey with Peter An 
drews, through New York and Long Island, to 
New England. And his Jifth journey, with John 
Sykes, to the Eastern shore of Maryland, and the 
lower Counties on Delaware. 

MY esteemed friend Abraham Farrington, being 
about to make a visit to friends on the eastern side 
of this province,, and having no companion he pro 
posed to me to go with him ; and after a conference 
with some elderly friends, I agreed to go. So we set 
out the fifth day of the ninth month, in the year 
1743; had an evening meeting at a tavern in 
Brunswick, a town in which none of our society 
dwelt ; the room was full, and the people quiet. 
Thence to Amboy, and had an evening meeting in 
the court-house ; to which came many people, 
amongst whom were several members of assembly, 
they being in town on the public affairs of the pro 
vince. In both these meetings my ancient com- 


panion was enlarged to preach,, in the love of the 
gospel. Thence we went to Woodbridge, Raway, 
and Plainfield ; and had six or seven meetings in 
places where friends meetings are not usually held., 
being made up chiefly of Presbyterians,, arid rny 
beloved companion was frequently strengthened 
to publish the word of life amongst them. As for 
me,, I was often silent through the meetings ; and 
when I spake, it was with much care, that I might 
speak only what truth opened; my mind was often 
tender, and I learned some profitable lessons. We 
were out about two weeks. 

Near this time,, being on some outward business 
in which several families were concerned, and 
which was attended with difficulties, some things 
relating thereto not being clearly stated, nor rightly 
understood by all, there arose some heat in the 
minds of the parties, and one valuable friend got off 
his watch. I had a great regard for him, and felt a 
strong inclination, after matters were settled, to 
speak to him concerning his conduct in that case; 
but I being a youth, and he far advanced in age 
and experience, my way appeared difficult ; but 
after some days deliberation, and inward seeking to 
the Lord for assistance, I was made subject; so that 
I exprest what lay upon me, in a way which be 
came my youth and his years ; and though it w as a 
hard task to me, it was well taken, and, I believe, 
was useful to us both. 

Having now been several years with my em 
ployer, and he doing less at merchandize than 
heretofore, I was thoughtful of some other way of 


business ; perceiving merchandize to be attended 
with much cumber in the way of trading- in these 

My mind through the power of truth, was in a 
good degree weaned from the desire of outward 
greatness, and I was learning to be content with 
real conveniences, that were not costly ; so that a 
way of life, free from much entanglements, appeared 
best for me, though the income might be small. I 
had several offers of business that appeared profit 
able, but did not see my way clear to accept of 
them ; as believing the business proposed would be 
attended with more outward care and cumber than 
was required of me to engage in. 

I saw that an humble man, with the blessing of 
the Lord, might live on a little ; and that where 
the heart was set on greatness, success in business 
did not satisfy the craving ; but that commonly 
with an increase of wealth, the desire of wealth in 
creased. There was a care on my mind so to pass 
my time, that nothing might hinder me from the 
most steady attention to the voice of the true Shep 

My employer, though now a retailer of goods, 
was by trade a taylor, and kept a servant man at 
that business; and I began to think about learning 
the trade, expecting, that if I should settle, I might, 
by this trade, and a little retailing of goods, get a 
living in a plain way, without the load of great 
business. 1 mentioned it to my employer, and we 
soon agreed on terms; and then when I had leisure 
from the affairs of merchandize, I worked with his 


man. I believed the hand of Providence pointed 
out this business for me ; and was taught to be con 
tent with it, though I felt at times, a disposition that 
would have sought for something greater; but, 
through the revelation of Jesus Christ,, I had seen 
the happiness of humility, and there was an earnest 
desire in me to enter deep into it; and at times 
this desire arose to a degree of fervent supplication, 
wherein my soul was so environed with heavenly 
light and consolation, that things were made easy 
to me which had been otherwise. 

After some time, my employer s wife died ; she 
was a virtuous woman, and generally beloved of 
her neighbours : and soon after this, he left shop - 
keeping; and we parted. I then wrought at my 
trade, as a tailor ; carefully attended meetings for 
worship and discipline ; and found an enlargement 
of gospel love in my mind, and therein a concern 
to visit friends in some of the back settlements of 
Pennsylvania and Virginia ; and being thoughtful 
about a companion, I expressed it to my beloved 
friend Isaac Andrews, who then told me that he 
had drawings to the same places ; and also to go 
through Maryland, Virginia, and Carolina. After 
considerable time past, and several conferences 
with him, I felt easy to accompany him throughout; 
if way opened for it. I opened the case in our 
monthly-meeting, and friends expressing their 
unity therewith, we obtained certificates to travel 
as companions ; his from Haddonfield, and mine 
from Burlington. 

We left our province on the twelfth day of the 



third month, in the year 1746, and had several 
meetings in the upper part of Chester county, and 
near Lancaster ; in some of which the love of Christ 
prevailed, uniting us together in his service. Then 
we crossed the river Susquehannah, and had several 
meetings in a new settlement, called the Red 
Lands ;. the oldest of which, as I was informed, did 
not exceed ten years. It is the poorer sort of people 
that commonly begin to improve remote deserts : 
with a small stock they have houses to build, lands 
to clear and fence, corn to raise, clothes to pro 
vide, and children to educate ; that friends, who 
visit such, may well sympathise with them in their 
hardships in the wilderness ; and though the best 
entertainment that such can give, may seem coarse 
to some who are used to cities, or old settled 
places, it becomes the disciples of Christ to be 
content with it. Our hearts were sometimes en 
larged in the love of our heavenly Father amongst 
these people ; and the sweet influence of his spirit 
supported us through some difficulties : to Him be 
the praise. 

We passed on to Manoquacy, Fairfax, Hopewell, 
and Shanando, and had meetings ; some of which 
were comfortable and edifying. From Shanando 
we set off in the afternoon for the old settlements 
of friends in Virginia ; and the first night we, with 
our guide, lodged in the woods; our horses feeding 
near us; but he being poorly provided with a horse, 
and we young, and having good horses, were free 
the next day to part with him ; and did so. In 
two days after,, we reached our friend John 


Cheagle s, in Virginia; so we took the meetings in 
our way through Virginia ; were in some degree,, 
baptized into a feeling sense of the conditions of 
the people ; and our exercise in general was more 
painful in these old settlements, than it had been 
amongst the back inhabitants : but through the 
goodness of our heavenly Father, the well of living 
waters was., at times,, opened to our encouragement, 
and the refreshment of the sincere-hearted. We 
went on to Perquimons, in North Carolina ; had 
several meetings, which were large ; and found 
some openness in those parts,, and a hopeful ap 
pearance amongst the young people. So we turned 
again to Virginia, and attended most of the meet 
ings which we had not been at before, labouring 
amongst friends in the love of Jesus Christ,, as 
ability was given : and thence went to the moun 
tains, up James s river to a new settlement ; and 
had several meetings amongst the people, some of 
whom had lately joined in membership with our 

In our journeying to and fro, we found some ho 
nest-hearted friends, who appeared to be concerned 
for the cause of truth among a backsliding people. 

From Virginia, we crossed over the river Pato- 
mac, at Hoe s ferry, and made a general visit to 
the meetings of friends on the western shore of 
Maryland; and were at their quarterly meeting. 
We had some hard labour amongst them, endea 
vouring to discharge our duty honestly as way 
opened, in the love of truth : and thence taking 
sundry meetings in our way, we passed homewards; 


where, through the favour of Divine Providence, we 
reached the sixteenth day of the sixth month, in 
the year 1746; and I may say, that through the 
assistance of the Holy Spirit, which mortifies 
seltish desires, my companion and I travelled in 
harmony, and parted in the nearness of true bro 
therly love. 

Two things were remarkable to me in this jour 
ney: First, in regard to my entertainment ; when I 
ate, drank, and lodged free-cost with people, who 
lived in ease on the hard labour of their slaves, I 
felt uneasy ; and as my mind was inward to the 
Lord, I found, from place to place, this uneasiness 
return upon me, at times, through the whole visit. 
Where the masters bore a good share of the bur 
then, and lived frugally, so that their servants were 
well provided for, and their labour moderate, I felt 
more easy ; but where they lived in a costly way, 
and laid heavy burthens on their slaves, my exer 
cise was often great, and I frequently had conver 
sation with them, in private, concerning it. Se 
condly : this trade of importing slaves from their 
native country being much encouraged amongst 
them, and the white people arid their children so 
generally living without much labour, was fre 
quently the subject of my serious thoughts. And I 
saw in these southern provinces so many vices and 
corruptions, increased by this trade and this way of 
life, that it appeared to me as a dark gloominess 
hanging over the land ; and though now many 
willingly run into it, yet in future the consequence 
will be grievous to posterity; 1 express it as it hath 


appeared to mo, not at once, nor twice,, but as a 
matter fixed on my mind. 

Soon after my return home, I felt an increas 
ing concern for friends on our sea-coast ; and on 
the eighth day of the eighth month, in the year 
1746, with the unity of friends, and in company 
with my beloved friend and neighbour Peter An 
drews, brother to my companion before-mentioned, 
\ve set forward and visited meetings generally about 
Salem, Cape May, Great and Little Egg Harbour ; 
and had meetings at Barnagat, Manahockin, and 
Mane Squan, and so to the yearly meeting at 
Shrewsbury. Through the goodness of the Lord 
way was opened, and the strength of divine love 
was sometimes felt in our assemblies, to the com 
fort and help of those who were rightly concerned 
before Him. We were out twenty-two days, and 
rode, by computation, three hundred and forty 
miles. At Shrewsbury yearly meeting, we met 
with our dear friends Michael Lightfoot and Abra 
ham Farrington, who had good service there. 

The winter following died my eldest sister, 
Elizabeth Wool man, jun. of the srnall-pox, aged 
thirty-one years. She was, from her youth, of a 
thoughtful disposition ; and very compassionate to 
her acquaintance in their sickness or distress, being 
ready to help as far as she could. She was dutiful 
to her parents ; one instance whereof follows : r 
It happened that she, and two of her sisters, being 
then near the estate of young women, had an in 
clination one first-day after meeting to go on a visit 
to some other young women at some distance off, 


whose company, I believe, would have done them 
no good . They expressed their desire to our parents, 
who were dissatisfied with the proposal, and stopped 
them. The same day, as my sisters and I were 
together, and they talking about their disappoint 
ment, Elizabeth expressed her contentment under 
it, signifying she believed it might be for their 

A few years after she attained to mature age, 
through the gracious visitations of God s love, she 
was strengthened to live a self-denying exemplary 
life, giving herself much to reading and meditation. 

The following letter may show, in some degree, 
her disposition : 

Haddonfidd, Ist-day, llth month^ 1743. 

Beloved brother John Woolman, 

In that love which desires the welfare of all men, 
I write unto thee. I received thine, dated second- 
day of the tenth month last, with which I was com 
forted. My spirit is bowed with thankfulness that 
I should be remembered, who am unworthy ; but 
the Lord is full of mercy, and his goodness is ex 
tended to the meanest of his creation ; therefore, 
in his infinite love, he hath pitied and spared and 
showed mercy, that I have not been cut off nor 
quite lost; but, at times, I am refreshed and com 
forted as with the glimpse of his presence, which 
is more to the immortal part, than all which this 
world can afford : so, with desires for thy preser 
vation with my own, I remain 

thy affectionate sister, 



The fore part of her illness she was in great sad 
ness and dejection of mind, of which she told one 
of her intimate friends,, and said,, when 1 was a 
young girl I was wanton and airy,, but I thought I 
had thoroughly repented for it ; and added,, I have 
of late had great satisfaction in meetings. Though 
she was thus disconsolate,, still she retained a hope,, 
which was as an anchor to her : and some time after, 
the same friend came again to see her, to whom she 
mentioned her former expressions,, and said, " It is 
otherwise now, for the Lord hath rewarded me 
seven-fold ; and I am unable to express the great 
ness of his love manifested to me/ Her disorder 
appearing dangerous, and our mother being sor 
rowful, she took notice of it, and said, Dear mo 
ther, weep not for me ; I go to my God :" and many 
times, with an audible voice, uttered praise to her 

A friend coming some miles to see her the morn*- 
ing before she died, asked her how s^ie did ? she 
answered " I have had a hard night, but shall not 
have another such, for I shall die, and it will be 
well with my soul ; )a and accordingly died the next 

The following ejaculations were found amongst 
her writings ; written, I believe, at four times. 

1. Oh! that my head were as waters, and mine 
eyes as a fountain of tears, that I might weep day 
and night, until acquainted with my God. 

2. O Lord, that I may enjoy thy presence ; or 
else my time is lost, and my life a snare to my 


3. O Lord, that I may receive bread from thy 
table, and that thy grace may abound in me. 

4. O Lord, that I may be acquainted with thy 
presence, that I may be seasoned with thy salt, that 
thy grace may abound in me. 

Of late I found drawings in my mind to visit 
friends in New England, and having an opportunity 
of joining in company with my beloved friend Peter 
Andrews; we, having obtained certificates from our 
monthly meeting, set forward on the sixteenth day 
of the third month, in the year 1747, and reached 
the yearly meeting at Long Island ; at which were 
our friends Samuel Nottingham from England, 
John Griffith, Jane Hoskins, and Elizabeth Hudson 
from Pennsylvania, and Jacob Andrews from Ches 
terfield. Several of whom were favoured in their 
public exercise ; and, through the goodness of the 
Lord, we had some edifying meetings. After this, 
my companion and I visited friends on Long- 
Island ; and, through the mercies of God, we were 
helped in the work. 

Besides going to the settled meetings of friends, 
\ve were at a general meeting at Setawket, chiefly 
made up of other societies : and had a meeting at 
Oyster Bay, in a dwelling-house, at which were 
many people ; at the first of which there was not 
much said by way of testimony, but it was, I believe, 
a good meeting : at the latter, through the spring 
ing up of living waters, it was a day to be thank 
fully remembered. Having visited the island, we 
went over to the main, taking meetings in our way, 
to Oblong, Nine-partners, and New Milford. In 


these back settlements we met with several people, 
who,, through the immediate workings of the spirit 
of Christ on their minds, were drawn from the 
vanities of the world, to an inward acquaintance 
with him : they were educated in the way of the 
Presbyterians. A considerable number of the 
youth, members of that society, were used to spend 
their time often together in merriment, but some of 
the principal young men of that company being 
visited by the powerful workings of the spirit of 
Christ, and thereby led humbly to take up his cross, 
could no longer join in those vanities; and as these 
stood stedfast to that inward convin cement, they 
were made a blessing to some of their former com 
panions ; so that, through the power of truth, se 
veral were brought into a close exercise concern 
ing the eternal well-being of their souls. These 
young people continued for a time to frequent their 
public worship ; and besides that, had meetings of 
their own ; which meetings were a while allowed by 
their preacher, who sometimes met with them : but, 
in time, their judgment in matters of religion dis 
agreeing with some of the articles of the Presby 
terians, their meetings were disapproved by that 
society ; and such of them who stood firm to their 
duty, as it was inwardly manifested, had many 
difficulties to go through : and their meetings were 
in a while dropped ; some of them returning to the 
Presbyterians, and others of them, after a time, 
joined to our religious society. 

I had conversation with some of the latter, to my 
help and edification; and believe several of them 


are acquainted with the nature of that worship, 
which is performed in spirit and in truth. From 
hence accompanied by Amos Powel, a friend from 
Long Island, we rode through Connecticut,, chiefly 
inhabited by Presbyterians ; who were generally 
civil to us, so far as I saw : and after three days 
riding, we came amongst friends in the colony of 
Rhode Island. We visited friends in and about 
Newport and Dartmouth, and generally in those 
parts ; and then to Boston ; and proceeded east 
ward as far as Dover ; and then returned to New 
port, and not far from thence, we met our friend 
Thomas Gawthorp from England ; who was then 
on a visit to these provinces. From Newport we 
sailed to Nantucket ; were there near a week ; and 
from thence came over to Dartmouth : and having 
finished our visit in these parts, we crossed the 
Sound from New London to Long Island ; and 
taking some meetings on the island, proceeded 
homeward ; where we reached the thirteenth day 
of the seventh month, in the year 1747, having rode 
about fifteen hundred miles, and sailed about one 
hundred and fifty. 

In this journey, I may say in general, we were 
sometimes in much weakness, and laboured under 
discouragements ; and at other times, through the 
renewed manifestations of divine love, we had sea 
sons of refreshment, wherein the power of truth 

We were taught, by renewed experience, to 
labour for an inward stillness : at no time to seek 
for \yords, but to live in the spirit of truth, and utter 


that to the people which truth opened in us. My 
beloved companion and I belonged both to one 
meeting, came forth in the ministry near the same 
time, and were inwardly united in the work. He 
was about thirteen years older than I,, bore the 
heaviest burthen, and was an instrument of the 
greatest use. 

Finding a concern to visit friends in the lower 
counties of Delaware, and on the eastern shore of 
Maryland, and having an opportunity to join with 
my well-beloved ancient friend John Sykes, we ob 
tained certificates, and set off the seventh day of the 
eighth month, in the year 1748, were at the meet 
ings of friends in the lower counties, attended the 
yearly meeting at Little Creek, and made a visit to 
most of the meetings on the eastern shore ; and so 
home by the way of Nottingham : were abroad 
about six weeks ; and rode, by computation, about 
five hundred and fifty miles. 

Our exercise at times was heavy ; but through 
the goodness of the Lord, we were often refreshed : 
and 1 may say, by experience, " He is a strong 
hold in the day of trouble." Though our society, 
in these parts, appeared to me to be in a declining 
condition; yet, I believe, the Lord hath a people 
amongst them, who labour to serve him uprightly, 
but have many difficulties to encounter. 



His marriage. The death of his father. His jour- 
nies into the upper part of New Jersey, and after 
wards into Pennsylvania. Considerations on 
keeping slaves, and his visits to the families of 
friends at several times and places. An epistle 
from the general meeting. His journey to Long 
Island. Considerations on trading and on the use 
of spirituous liquors and costly apparel. And his 
letter to a friend. 

ABOUT this time believing it good for me to set 
tle,, and thinking seriously about a companion, my 
heart was turned to the Lord with desires that he 
would give me wisdom to proceed therein agree 
able to his will ; and he was pleased to give me a 
well-inclined damsel, Sarah Ellis ; to whom I was 
married the eighteenth day of the eighth month, in 
the year 1749. 

In the fall of the year 1750 died my father, 
Samuel Wool man, with a fever, aged about sixty 

In his life-time he manifested much care for us 
his children, that in our youth we might learn to 
fear the Lord ; often endeavouring to imprint in 
our minds the true principles of virtue, and parti 
cularly to cherish in us a spirit of tenderness, not 
only towards poor people, but also towards all 
creatures of which we had the command. 


After my return from Carolina in the year 1746, 
I made some observations on keeping slaves, which 
sometime before his decease I showed him ; and 
he perused the manuscript,, proposed a few al 
terations,, and appeared well satisfied that I found a 
concern on that account. In his last sickness, 
as I was watching with him one night, he being so 
far spent that there was no expectation of his reco 
very, but had the perfect use of his understanding, 
he asked me concerning the manuscript,, whether I 
expected soon to proceed to take the advice of 
friends in publishing it ? and, after some conversa 
tion thereon, said, I have all along been deeply 
affected with the oppression of the poor negroes ; 
and now, at last, my concern for them is as great as 

By his direction I had written his will in a time of 
health, and that night he desired rne to read it to 
him, which I did ; and he said it was agreeable to 
his mind. He then made mention of his end, 
which he believed was now near ; and signified, 
that though he was sensible of many imperfections 
in the course of his life, yet his experience of the 
power of truth, and of the love and goodness of 
God from time to time, even till now, was such, 
that he had no doubt but that in leaving this life 
he should enter into one more happy. 

The next day, his sister Elizabeth carne to see 
him, and told him of the decease of their sister Anne, 
who died a few days before ; he then said, I reckon 
sister Anne was free to leave this world ? Elizabeth 
said she was. He then said, I also am free to leave 


it : and being in great weakness of body said, I 
hope I shall shortly go to rest. He continued in a 
weighty frame of mind, and was sensible till near 
the last. 

On the second day of the ninth month, in the 
year 1751, feeling drawings in my mind to visit 
friends at the Great Meadows, in the upper part of 
West Jersey, with the unity of our monthly meet 
ing, I went there, and had some searching laborious 
exercise amongst friends in those parts, and found 
inward peace therein. 

In the ninth month of the year 1753, in company 
with my well-esteemed friend JohnSykes, and with 
the unity of friends, we travelled about two weeks, 
visiting friends in Buck s County. We laboured in 
the love of the gospel, according to the measure 
received ; and, through the mercies of Him, who is 
strength to the poor who trust in Him, we found 
satisfaction in our visit. In the next winter, 
way opening to visit friends families within the 
compass of our monthly-meeting, partly by the 
labours of two friends from Pennsylvania, I joined 
in some part of the work, having had a desire some 
time that it might go forward amongst us. 

About this time, a person at some distance lying 
sick, his brother came to me to write his will. I 
knew he had slaves ; and, asking his brother, was 
told he intended to leave them as slaves to his 
children. As writing is a profitable employ, and as 
offending sober people was disagreeable to my in 
clination, I was straitened in my mind ; but as I 
looked to the Lord, he inclined my heart to his 


testimony; and I told the man, that I believed the 
practice of continuing slavery to this people was 
not right, and had a scruple in my mind against 
doing writings of that kind ; that though many in 
our society kept them as slaves, still I was not easy 
to be concerned in it, and desired to be excused 
from going to write the will. I spake to him in the 
fear of the Lord ; and he made no reply to what I 
said, but went away : he, also, had some concerns 
in the practice ; and I thought he was displeased 
with me. In this case I had fresh confirmation, 
that acting contrary to present outward interest, 
from a motive of divine love, and in regard to 
truth and righteousness, and thereby incurring the 
resentments of people, opens the way to a treasure 
better than silver, and to a friendship exceeding 
the friendship of men. 

The manuscript before-mentioned having laid 
by me several years, the publication of it rested 
weightily upon me ; and this year I offered it to the 
revisal of friends, who, having examined and made 
some small alterations in it, directed a number 
of copies thereof to be published and dispersed 
amongst friends. 

In the year 1754, I found my mind drawn to 
join in a visit to friends families belonging to Ches 
terfield monthly meeting ; and having the approba 
tion of our own, I went to their monthly-meeting 
in order to confer with friends, and see if way 
opened for it. I had conference with some of 
their members, the proposal having been opened 
before in their meeting, and one friend agreed to 


join with me as a companion for a beginning ; bat 
when meeting was ended, I felt great distress of 
mind, and doubted what way to take, or whether 
to go home and wait for greater clearness, I kept 
my distress secret ; and going with a friend to his 
house, my desires were to the great Shepherd for 
his heavenly instruction ; and in the morning I felt 
easy to proceed on the visit, being very low in my 
mind. As mine eye was turned to the Lord, 
waiting in families in deep reverence before Him, 
He was pleased graciously to afford help ; so that 
we had many comfortable opportunities, and it ap 
peared as a fresh visitation to some young people. 
I spent several weeks this winter in the service ; 
part of which time was employed near home. And 
again in the following winter I was several weeks 
in the same service ; some part of the time at 
Shrewsbury, in company with my beloved friend 
John Sykes : arid have cause humbly to acknow 
ledge, that through the goodness of the Lord, our 
hearts were, at times., enlarged in his love; and 
strength was given to go through the trials which, 
in the course of our visit, attended us. 

From a disagreement between the powers of 
England and Prance, it was now a time of trouble 
on this continent; and an epistle to friends went 
forth from our general spring meeting, which I 
thought good to give a place in this journal. 


An EPISTLE from our general spring meeting of 
ministers and elders for Pennsylvania and New 
Jersey, held at Philadelphia, from the twenty- 
ninth of the third month, to the first of the fourth 
month, inclusive, 1755. 

To Friends on the Continent of America. 

Dear Friends, 

IN an humble sense of divine goodness, and the 
gracious continuation of God s love to his people, 
we tenderly salute you ; and are at this lime there 
in engaged in mind, that all of us who profess the 
truth, as held forth and published by our worthy 
predecessors in this latter age of the world, may 
keep near to that life which is the light of men, and 
be strengthened to hold fast the profession of our 
faith without wavering, that our trust may not be 
in man, but in the Lord alone, who ruleth in the 
army of heaven, and in the kingdoms of men, 
before whom the earth is (< as the dust of the 
balance, and her inhabitants as grasshoppers." 
Isa. xl. 22. 

We, being convinced that the gracious design of 
the Almighty in sending his Son into the world, 
was to repair the breach made by disobedience, to 
finish sin and transgression, that his kingdom might 
come, and his will be done on earth as it is in hea 
ven, have found it to be our duty to cease from 
those national contests productive of misery and 
bloodshed, and submit our cause to Him, the Most 



High,, whose tender love to his children exceeds 
"the most warm affections of natural parents, and 
who hath promised to his seed throughout the 
earth, as to one individual, (C I will never leave 
thee, nor forsake thee." Heb. xiii. 5. And we, 
through the gracious dealings of the Lord our God, 
have had experience of that work which is carried 
on, ff not by earthly might, nor by power, but by 
my spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts:" Zech. iv. 6. 
By which operation, that spiritual kingdom is set 
up, which is to subdue and break in pieces all king 
doms that oppose it, and shall stand for ever. In a 
deep sense thereof, and of the safely, stability, and 
peace there is in it, we are desirous that all who 
profess the truth, may be inwardly acquainted with 
it, and thereby be qualified to conduct in all parts of 
our life as becomes our peaceable profession : and 
we trust, as there is a faithful continuance to depend 
wholly upon the almighty arm, from one generation 
to another, the peaceable kingdom will gradually 
be extended " from sea to sea, and from the river 
to the ends of the earth/ Zech. ix. 10. to the com 
pletion of those prophecies already begun, that 
ff nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, 
nor learn war any more." Isa. ii. 4. Micah. iv. 3. 
And, dearly beloved friends, seeing we have these 
promises, and believe that God is beginning to ful 
fil them, let us constantly endeavour to have our 
minds sufficiently disentangled from the surfeiting 
cares of this life, and redeemed from the love of the 
world, that no earthly possessions nor enjoyments 
may bias our judgments, or turn us from that resig- 


nation and entire trust in God, to which his blessing 
is most surely annexed ; then may we say, sf Our 
redeemer is mighty, he will plead our cause for us." 
Jer. 1. 34. And if, for the further promoting his 
most gracious purposes in the earth, he should give 
us to taste of that bitter cup which his faithful ones 
have often partaken of; O that we may be rightly 
prepared to receive it ! 

And now, dear friends, with respect to the com 
motions and stirrings of the powers of the earth at, 
this time near us, we are desirous that none of us 
may be moved thereat ; but repose ourselves in 
the munition of that rock that all these shakings 
shall not move, even in the knowledge and feeling 
of the eternal power of God, keeping us subjectly 
given up to his heavenly will, and feel it daily to 
mortify that which remains in any of us which is of 
this world ; for the worldly part in any, is the 
changeable part, and that is up and down, full and 
empty, joyful and sorrowful, as things go well or ill 
in this world. For as the truth is but one, and many 
are made partakers of its spirit, so the world is but 
one, and many are made partakers of the spirit of 
it ; and so many as do partake of it, so many will 
be straightened and perplexed with it. But they 
who are single to the truth, waiting daily to feel the 
life and virtue of it in their hearts, these shall re 
joice in the midst of adversity, and have to ex 
perience with the prophet, that. Although the fig- 
tree shall riot blossom, neither shall fruit be in the 
vines ; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the 
fields shall yield no meat ; the flock shall be cut 


off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the 
stalls; yet will they rejoice in the Lord., and joy in 
the God of their salvation. Hab. iii. 17, 18. 

If, contrary to this, we profess the truth., and not 
living under the power and influence of it, are pro 
ducing fruits disagreeable to the purity thereof, and 
trust to the strength of man to support ourselves, 
therein our confidence will be vain. For he who 
removed the hedge from his vineyard, and gave it 
to be trodden under foot, by reason of the wild 
grapes it produced, (Isa. v. 6.) remains unchange 
able : and if, for the chastisement of wickedness, and 
the further promoting his own glory, he doth arise, 
even to shake terribly the earth, who then may op 
pose him, and prosper ! 

We remain, in the love of the gospel, your friends 
and brethren. 

Signed by fourteen friends. 

Scrupling to do writings relative to keeping 
slaves, having been a means of sundry small trials 
to me, in which I have so evidently felt my own 
will set aside, I think it good to mention a few of 
them. Tradesmen and retailers of goods, who 
depend on their business for a living, are naturally 
inclined to keep the good-will of their customers ; 
nor is it a pleasant thing for young men to be under 
any necessity to question the judgment or honesty 
of elderly men, and more especially of such who 
have a fair reputation. Deep-rooted customs, 
though wrong, are not easily altered ; but it is 
the duty of all to be firm in that which they 


certainly know is right for them. A charitable,, 
benevolent man, well acquainted with a negro, may, 
1 believe, under some circumstances, keep him in 
his family as a servant, on no other motives than 
the negro s good ; but man, as man, knows not 
what shall be after him, nor hath he any assurance 
that his children will attain to that perfection in 
wisdom and goodness, necessary rightly to exercise 
such power : hence it is clear to me, that I ought 
not to be the scribe where wills are drawn, in which 
some children are made absolute masters over others 
during life. 

About this time, an ancient man of good esteem 
in the neighbourhood, came to my house to get his 
will written ; he had young negroes ; and 1 asked 
him privately how he purposed to dispose of them. 
He told me : 1 then said, I cannot write thy will 
without breaking my own peace ; and respectfully 
gave him rny reasons for it. He signitied that he had 
a choice that 1 should have written it; but as 1 could 
not, consistently with my conscience, he did not de 
sire it; and so he got it written by some other person. 
And a few years after, there being great alterations 
in his family, he came again to get me to write his 
will. His negroes were yet young ; and his son. to 
whom he intended to give them, was, since he first 
spoke to me, from a libertine, become a sober young 
man ; and he supposed, that I would have been 
free, on that account, to write it. We had much 
friendly talk on the subject, and then deferred it : 
and a few days after, he came again, and directed 
their freedom ; and so I wrote his will. 


Near the time the last mentioned friend first spoke 
to me, a neighbour received a bad bruise in his 
body, and sent for me to bleed him ; which being 
done, he desired me to write his will. 1 took notes; 
and amongst other things, he told me to which of 
his children he gave his young negro. I considered 
the pain and distress he was in, and knew not how 
it would end ; so I wrote his will, save only that 
part concerning his slave, and carrying it to his 
bed-side, read it to him : and then told him in a 
friendly way, that I could not write any instruments 
by which my fellow-creatures were made slaves, 
without bringing trouble on my own mind. I let 
him know that I charged nothing for what I had 
done, and desired to be excused from doing the 
other part in the way he proposed. We then had a 
serious conference on the subject; at length, he 
agreeing to set her free, I finished his will. 

Having found drawings in my mind to visit friends 
on Long Island, after obtaining a certificate from 
our monthly-meeting, I set off on the twelfth-day 
of the fifth month, in the year 1756. When I 
reached the island, I lodged the first night at the 
house of my dear friend Richard Mallet. The 
next day, being the first of the week, I was at the 
meeting in New Town ; in which we experienced 
the renewed manifestations of the love of Jesus 
Christ, to the comfort of the honest-hearted. I went 
that night to Flushing; and the next day, in com 
pany with my beloved friend Matthew Franklin, we 
crossed the ferry at White Stone ; were at three 
meetings on the main, and then returned to the 


sland ; where I spent the remainder of the Week in 
visiting meetings. The Lord, I believe,, hath a 
people in those parts., who are honestly inclined to 
serve him ; but many, I fear, are too much clogged 
with the things of this life, and do not come for 
ward bearing the cross in such faithfulness as He 
calls for. 

My mind was deeply engaged in this visit, both 
in public and private ; and, at several places where 
I was, on observing that they had slaves, I found 
myself under a necessity, in a friendly way, to 
labour with them on that subject ; expressing, as 
way opened, the inconsistency of that practice with 
the purity of the Christian religion, and the ill effects 
of it manifested amongst us. 

The latter end of the week, their yearly meeting 
began; at which were our friends John Scarbo 
rough, Jane Hoskins, and Susannah Brown, from 
Pennsylvania. The public meetings were large, and 
measurably favoured with divine goodness. 

The exercise of my mind, at this meeting, was 
chiefly on account of those who were considered as 
the foremost rank in the society : and in a meeting 
of ministers and elders, way opened, that I ex 
pressed in some measure what lay upon me ; and at 
a time when friends were met for transacting the 
affairs of the church, having sat a while silent, I 
felt a weight on my mind, and stood up ; and, 
through the gracious regard of our heavenly Fa 
ther, strength was given fully to clear myself of a 
burden, which for some days had been increasing 
upon me. 


Through the humbling dispensations of Divine 
Providence, men are sometimes fitted for his ser 
vice. The messages of the prophet Jeremiah were 
so disagreeable to the people, and so reverse to the 
spirit they lived in, that he became the object of 
their reproach : and in the weakness of nature, 
thought of desisting from his prophetic office ; but 
saith he, ff His word was in my heart as a burning 
fire shut up in my bones ; and I was weary with 
forbearing, and could not stay." I saw at this 
time, that if I was honest in declaring that which 
truth opened in me, I could not please ail men ; and 
laboured to be content in the way of my duty, how 
ever disagreeable to my own inclination. After 
this I went homeward, taking Woodbridge and 
Plainfield in my way ; in both which meetings, the 
pure influence of divine love was manifested; in an 
humbling sense whereof I went home: having been 
out about twenty-four days, and rode about three 
hundred arid sixteen miles. 

While I was out on this journey, my heart was 
much affected with a senseof the state of the churches 
in our southern provinces; and believing the Lord 
was calling me to some further labour amongst 
them, I was bowed in reverence before Hi in, with 
fervent desires that I might find strength to resign 
myself up to his heavenly will. 

Until this year, 1756, I continued to retail goods, 
besides following my trade as a tailor: about which 
time, I grew uneasy on account of my business 
growing too cumbersome. I had begun with sell 
ing trimmings for garments, and from thence pro- 


ceeded to sell cloths and linens; and, at length, 
having got a considerable shop of goods,, my trade 
increased every year, and the road to large business 
appeared open ; but I felt a stop in my rnind. 

Through the mercies of the Almighty, I had, in a 
good degree, learned to be content with a plain 
way of living. I had but a small family ; and on 
serious consideration, I believed truth did not re 
quire me to engage in much cumbering affairs. It 
had been my general practice to buy and sell things 
really useful. Things that served chiefly to please 
the vain mind in people, I was not easy to trade in ; 
seldom did it ; and whenever I did, I found it weaken 
me as a Christian. 

The increase of business became my burden ; for 
though my natural inclination was toward mer 
chandize, yet I believed truth required me to live 
more free from outward cumbers : arid there was 
now a strife in my mind between the two; and in 
this exercise my prayers were put up to the Lord, 
who graciously heard me, and gave me a heart re 
signed to his holy will. Then I lessened my outward 
business; and as I had opportunity, told iny cus 
tomers of my intentions, that they might consider 
what shop to turn to : and in a while wholly laid 
down merchandize, following my trade as a tailor; 
myself only, ha ving no apprentice. I also had a 
nursery of apple-trees ; in which I employed some 
of my time in hoeing, grafting, trimming, arid ino 
culating. In merchandize it is the custom, where 
I lived, to 1 sell chiefly on credit, and poor people 
often get iuxlebt ; and when payment is expected, 


not having wherewith to pay, their creditors often 
sue for it at law. Having often observed occur 
rences of this kind,, I found it good for me to advise 
poor people, to take such goods as Vvere most use 
ful, and not costly. 

In the time of trading, I had an opportunity of 
seeing, that the too liberal use of spirituous liquors, 
and the custom of wearing too costly apparel, led 
some people into great inconveniences; and these 
two things appear to be often connected one with 
the other; for by riot attending to that use of things, 
which is consistent with universal righteousness, 
there is an increase of labour which extends beyond 
what our heavenly Father intends for us. And by 
great labour, and often by much sweating, there is 
even among such who are not drunkards, a craving 
of some liquors to revive the spirits ; that partly by 
the luxurious drinking of some, and partly by the 
drinking of others, (led to it through immoderate 
labour) very great quantities of rum are every year 
expended in our colonies; the greater part of which 
we should have no need of, did we steadily attend to 
pure wisdom. 

Where men take pleasure in feeling their minds 
elevated with strong drink, and so indulge their 
appetite as to disorder their understandings, neglect 
their duty as members in a family or civil society, 
and cast off all regard to religion, thfcir case is much 
to be pitied. And where such whose lives are for 
the most part regular, and whose examples have a 
strong influence on the minds of others, adhere to 
some customs which powerfully draw to the use of 


more strong liquor than pure wisdom allows ; this 
also,, as it hinders the spreading of the spirit of 
meekness, and strengthens the hands of the more 
excessive drinkers., is a case to be lamented. 

As every degree of luxury hath some connexion 
with evil ; for those who profess to be disciples of 
Christ, and are looked upon as leaders of the people, 
to have that mind in them, which was also in Christ, 
and so stand separate from every wrong way, is a 
means of help to the weaker. As I have sometimes 
been much spent in the heat, arid taken spirits to 
revive me, I have found by experience, that in such 
circumstances the mind is not so cairn, nor so fitly 
disposed for divine meditation, as when all such 
extremes are avoided ; and I have felt an increasing 
care to attend to that holy Spirit which sets right 
bounds to our desires ; and leads those who faith 
fully follow it, to apply all the gifts of Divine 
Providence to the purposes for which they were in 
tended. Did such who have the care of great es 
tates, attend with singleness of heart to this heaven 
ly Instructor, which so opens and enlarges the mind, 
that men love their neighbours as themselves, they 
would have wisdom given them to manage, without 
finding occasion to employ some people in the 
luxuries of life, or to make it necessary for others 
ta labour too hard ; but for want of steadily re 
garding this principle of divine love, a selfish spirit 
takes place in the minds of people, which is ak- 
tended with durkness, and manifold confusions iij 
the world. 


Though trading in things useful is an honest 
employ : yet,, through the great number of super 
fluities which are bought and sold, and through the 
corruption of the times, they who apply to mer 
chandize for a living, have great need to be well 
experienced in that precept which the prophet Jere- 
iniah laid down for his scribe: " Seekest thou great 
things for thyself? seek them not." 

In the winter, this year, I was engaged with 
friends in visiting families ; and through the good 
ness of the Lord,, we had often times experience of 
his heart-tendering presence amongst us. 

A copy of a Letter written to a friend. 

" IN this thy late affliction I have found a deep 
fellow-feeling with thee ; and had a secret hope 
throughout, that it might please the Father of mer 
cies to raise thee up, and sanctify thy troubles to 
thee ; that thou being more fully acquainted with 
that way which the world esteems foolish, may feel 
the clothing of divine fortitude, and be strength 
ened to resist that spirit, which leads from the sim 
plicity of the everlasting truth. 

We may see ourselves crippled and halting, and 
from a strong bias to things pleasant and easy, find 
an impossibility to advance forward ; but things 
impossible with men are possible with God ; and 
our wills being made subject to his, all temptations 
are surmountable. 


This work of subjecting the will, is compared to 
the mineral in the furnace ; which, through fervent 
heat, is reduced from its first principle : " He re 
fines them as silver is refined he shall sit as a re 
finer, and purifier of silver/ By these comparisons, 
we are instructed in the necessity of the melting 
operation of the hand of God upon us, to prepare 
our hearts truly to adore Him, and manifest that 
adoration, by inwardly turning away from that 
spirit in all its workings, which is not of Him. To 
forward this work, the all-wise God is sometimes 
pleased, through outward distress, to bring us near 
the gates of death ; that life being painful and 
afflicting, and the prospect of eternity open before 
us, all earthly bonds may be loosened, and the mind 
prepared for that deep and sacred instruction, 
which otherwise would not be received. If kind 
parents love their children, and delight in their hap 
piness, then He, who is perfect goodness^ in sending 
abroad mortal contagions, doth assuredly direct 
their use Are the righteous removed by it, their 
change is happy ; are the wicked taken away in 
their wickedness, the Almighty is clear: do we pass 
through with anguish and great bitterness, and yet 
recover, He intends that we should be purged from 
dross, and our ear opened to discipline. 

And now, on thy part, after thy sore affliction and 
doubts of recovery, thou art again restored, forget 
not Him who hath helped thee ; but in humble 
gratitude hold fast his instructions, thereby to shun 
those bye-paths which lead from the firm foundation. 
I am sensible of that variety of company, to which 


one in thy business must be exposed : I have painful 
ly felt the force of conversation proceeding from men 
deeply rooted in an earthly mind, and can sympa 
thize with others in such conflicts, in that much 
weakness still attends me. 

I find that to be a fool as to worldly wisdom, and 
commit my cause to God, not fearing to offend 
men, who take offence at the simplicity of truth, is 
the only way to remain unmoved at the sentiments 
of others. 

The fear of man brings a snare. By halting in our 
duty, and giving back in the time of trial, our hands 
grow weaker, our spirits get mingled with the peo 
ple, our ears grow dull as to hearing the language 
of the true Shepherd : that when we look at the 
way of the righteous, it seems as though it was not 
for us to follow them. 

There is a love clothes my mind while I write, 
which is superior to all expressions ; and I find my 
heart open to encourage to a holy emulation, to 
advance forward in Christian firmness, Deep humi 
lity is a strong bulwark ; and as we enter into it, we 
find safety and true exaltation : the foolishness of 
God is wiser than man, and the weakness of God is 
stronger than man. Being unclothed of our own 
wisdom, and knowing the abasement of the crea 
ture, therein we find that power to arise, which 
gives health and vigour to us." 



His visiting the families of friends at Burlington. 
His journey to Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, 
and North Carolina. Considerations on the state 
of friends there ; and the exercise he was under in 
travelling among those so generally concerned in 
keeping slaves: with some observations in conver 
sation, at several times, on this subject. His epis 
tle to friends at New Garden and Crane Creek. 
His thoughts on the neglect of a religious care in 
the education of the negroes. 

THE thirteenth day of the second month, in the 
year 1757, being then in good health, and abroad 
with friends visiting families, I lodged at a friend s 
house in Burlington ; and going to bed about the 
time usual with me, I awoke in the night, arid my 
meditations, as I lay, were on the goodness and 
mercy of the Lord ; in a sense whereof my heart was 
contrite. After this, I went to sleep again ; and 
sleeping a short time, I awoke ; it was yet daik, 
and no appearance of day nor moonshine ; and as 
I opened mine eyes, I saw a light in my chamber, 
at the apparent distance of five feet, about nine 
inches diameter, of a clear easy brightness, and near 
its center the most radiant. As I lay still, without 
any surprize looking upon it, words were spoken to 
my inward ear, which filled my whole inward man. 
They were not the effect of thought, nor any con- 


elusion in relation to the appearance,, but as the 
language of the Holy One, spoken in my mind. The 
and were again repeated exactly in the same man 
ner,, whereupon the light disappeared. 

Feeling the exercise in relation to a visit to the 
Southern Provinces to increase upon me, I ac 
quainted our monthly meeting therewith, and ob 
tained their certificate. Expecting to go alone, one 
of my brothers who lived in Philadelphia, having 
some business in North Carolina, proposed going 
with me part of the way ; but as he had a view of 
some outward affairs, to accept of him as a com 
panion, seemed some difficulty with me, whereupon 
I had conversation with him at sundry times ; and, 
at length, feeling easy in my mind, I had conver 
sation with several elderly friends of Philadelphia 
on the subject ; and he obtaining a certificate suit 
able to the occasion, we set off in the fifth month of 
the year J757; and coming to Nottingham week 
day meeting, lodged at John Churchman s, and 
here I met with our friend Benjamin Buffington, 
from New England, who was returning from a visit 
to the Southern Provinces. Thence we crossed 
the river Susquehannah, and lodged at William 
Cox s in Maryland ; and soon after I entered this 
province, a deep and painful exercise came upon 
me, which I often had some feeling of, since my 
mind was drawn toward these parts, and with which 
I had acquainted my brother before we agreed to 
join as companions. 

As the people in this and the Southern Provinces 

live much on the labour of slaves, many of whom 
are used hardly, my concern was, that 1 might at 
tend with singleness of heart to the voice of the true 
Shepherd, and be so supported as to remain un 
moved at the faces of men. 

As it is common for friends on such a visit to have 
entertainment free of cost, a difficulty arose in my 
mind with respect to saving my money by kindness 
received, which to me appeared to be the gain of 
oppression . 

Receiving a gift, considered as a gift, brings the 
receiver under obligations to the benefactor, and 
has a natural tendency to draw the obliged into a 
party with the giver. To prevent difficulties of this 
kind, and to preserve the minds of judges from any 
bias, was that divine prohibition : cc Thou shalt not 
receive any gift ; for a gift blindeth the wise, and 
perverteth the words of the righteous/ 5 Exod. 
xxiii. 8. As the disciples were sent forth without 
any provision for their journey, and our Lord said 
the workman is worthy of his meat, their labour in 
the gospel was considered as a reward for their 
entertainment, and therefore not received as a gift; 
yet, in regard to my present journey, I could not 
see my way clear in that respect. The difference 
appeared thus : the entertainment the disciples met 
with, was from such whose hearts God had opened 
to receive them, from a love to them, and the truth 
they published ; but we, considered as members of 
the same religious society, look upon it as a piece 
of civility to receive each other in such visits ; and 
such reception, at times, is partly in regard to 

reputation, and not from an inward unity of heart 
and spirit. Conduct is more convincing than lan 
guage ; and where people., by their actions, manifest 
that the slave-trade is not so disagreeable to their 
principles but that it may be encouraged, there 
is not a sound uniting with some friends who visit 

The prospect of so weighty a work, and being so 
distinguished from many whom I esteemed before 
myself, brought me very low ; and such \vere the 
conflicts of my soul, that I had a near sympathy 
with the prophet, in the time of his weakness, when 
he said, " If thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray 
thee, if I have found favour in thy sight;" Num. 
xi. 15. but I soon saw that this proceeded from the 
want of a full resignation to the divine will. Many 
were the afflictions which attended me; and in great 
abasement, with many tears, my cries were to the 
Almighty, for his gracious and fatherly assistance ; 
and then, after a time of deep trial, 1 was favoured 
to understand the state mentioned by the psalmist, 
more clearly than ever I had before ; to wit : " My 
soul is even as a weaned child." Psalrn cxxxi. 2. 
Being thus helped to sink down into resignation, I 
felt a deliverance from that tempest in which I had 
been sorely exercised, and in calmness of mind 
went forward, trusting that the Lord Jesus Christ, 
as I faithfully attended to him, would be a counsel 
lor to me in all difficulties; and that by his strength 
I should be enabled, even to leave money with the 
members of society where I had entertainment, 
when I found that omitting it, would obstruct 


that work to which I believed he had called me : 
and as I copy this after my return,, I may here add, 
that oftentimes I did so, under a sense of duty. The 
way in which I did it was thus : when I expected 
soon to leave a friend s house where I had enter 
tainment, if I believed that I should not keep clear 
from the gain of oppression without leaving money, 
T spoke to one of the heads of the family privately, 
and desired them to accept of those pieces of silver, 
and give them to such of their negroes as they 
believed would make the best use of them ; arid at 
other times, I gave them to the negroes myself, as 
the way looked clearest to me. As I expected this 
before I came out, I had provided a large number 
of small pieces ; and thus offering them to some 
who appeared to be wealthy people, was a trial 
both to me and them ; but the fear of the Lord so 
covered me at times, that my way was made easier 
than I expected ; and few, if any, manifested any 
resentment at the offer, and most of them, after some 
talk, accepted of them. 

The seventh day of the fifth month, in the year 
1757, lodged at a friend s house ; and the next day, 
being the first of the week, was at Poiapsco meet 
ing ; then crossed Patuxent river, and lodged at a 

On the ninth, breakfasted at a friend s house; 
who afterwards, putting us a little on our way, I had 
conversation with him, in the fear of the Lord, con 
cerning his slaves ; in which my heart was tender, 
and I used much plainness of speech with him, which 
he appeared to take kindly. We pursued pur 


journey without appointing meetings, being pressed 
in my mind to be at the yearly meeting in Virginia ; 
and in my travelling on the road, I often felt a cry 
rise from the centre of my mind, thus: ff O Lord, I 
am a stranger on the earth, hide not thy face from 
me." On the eleventh day of the fifth month, we 
crossed the rivers Patowmack and Rapahannock, 
and lodged at Port Royal ; and on the way we 
happening in company with a colonel of the militia, 
who appeared to be a thoughtful man ; I took oc 
casion to remark on the difference in general be 
twixt a people used to labour moderately for their 
living, training up their children in frugality and 
business, and those who live on the labour of slaves; 
the former, in my view, being the most happy life : 
with which he concurred, and mentioned the trouble 
arising from the untoward, slothful, disposition of 
the negroes ; adding, that one of our labourers 
would do as much in a day as two of their slaves. 
I replied, that free men, whose minds were properly 
on their business, found a satisfaction in improving, 
cultivating, and providing for their families ; but 
negroes, labouring to support others who claim 
them as their property, and expecting nothing but 
slavery during life, had not the like inducement to 
be industrious. 

After some further conversation, I said, that men 
having power, too often misapplied it ; that though 
we made slaves of the negroes, and the Turks made 
slaves of the Christians, I however believed that 
liberty was the natural right of all men equally : 
which he did not deny; but said, the lives of the 


negroes were so wretched in their own country, that 
many of them lived better here than there. I only 
said, there is great odds in regard to us, on what 
principle we act ; and so the conversation on that 
subject ended : and I may here add, that another 
person, some time afterwards, mentioned the wretch 
edness of the negroes, occasioned by their intestine 
wars, as an argument in favour of our fetching them 
away for slaves. To which I then replied, if compas 
sion on the Africans, in regard to their domestic 
troubles, were the real motives of our purchasing 
them, that spirit of tenderness being attended to, 
would incite us to use them kindly ; that as strang 
ers brought out of affliction, their lives might be 
happy among us ; and as they are human creatures, 
whose souls are as precious as ours, and .who may 
receive the same help and comfort from the holy 
scriptures as we do, we could not omit suitable en 
deavours to instruct them therein ; but while we 
manifest by our conduct, that our views in pur 
chasing them are to advance ourselves ; and while 
our buying captives taken in war, animates those 
parties to push on the war, and increase desolation 
amongst them ; to say they live unhappy in Africa, 
is far from being an argument in our favour. I 
further said, the present circumstances of these pro-*- 
vinces to me appear difficult ; that the slaves look 
like a burthensome stone to such \vho burthen 
themselves with them; and that if the white people 
retain a resolution to prefer their outward prospects 
of gain to all other considerations, and do not act 
conscientiously toward them as fellow-creatures., I 


believe that burden will grow heavier and heavier* 
until times change in a way disagreeable to us : at 
which the person appeared very serious; and 
owned, that in considering their condition, and the 
manner of their treatment in these provinces, he 
had some times thought it might be just in the 
Almighty so to order it. 

Having thus travelled through Maryland, we 
came amongst friends at Cedar Creek in Virginia, 
on the twelfth day of the fifth month ; and the next 
day rode, in company with several friends, a day s 
journey to Camp Creek. As I was riding along 
in the morning, my mind was deeply affected in a 
sense I had of the want of divine aid to support 
me, in the various difficulties which attended me ; 
and in an uncommon distress of mind, I cried in 
secret to the Most High, ff O Lord be merciful, I 
beseech thee to thy poor afflicted creature/ After 
some time, 1 felt inward relief; and soon after, a 
friend in company began to talk in support of the 
slave-trade, and said, the negroes were understood 
to be the offspring of Cain, their blackness being 
the mark God set upon him, after he murdered 
Abel his brother; that it was the design of Pro 
vidence they should be slaves, as a condition pro 
per to the race of so wicked a man as Cain was: 
then another spake in support of what had been 
said. To all which, I replied in substance as 
follows : that Noah and his family were all who 
survived the flood, according to scripture ; and as 
Noah was of Seth s race, the family of Cain was 
wholly destroyed. One of them said, that after 


the flood Ham went to the land of Nod, and took 
a wife ; that Nod was a land far distant,, inhabited 
by Cain s race,, and that the flood did not reach it ; 
and as Ham was sentenced to be a servant of ser 
vants to his brethren, these two families being thus 
joined,, were undoubtedly fit only for slaves. I re 
plied, the flood was a judgment upon the world 
for their abominations ; and it was granted, that 
Cain s stock was the most wicked, and therefore 
unreasonable to suppose they were spared : as to 
Ham s going to the land of Nod for a wife, no time 
being fixed, Nod might be inhabited by some of 
Noah s family, before Ham married a second time : 
moreover the text saith, " That all flesh died that 
moved upon the earth/ Gen. vii, 21. I further re 
minded them, how the prophets repeatedly declare, 
" that the son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the 
father : but every one be answerable for his own 
sins." I was troubled to perceive the darkness of 
their imaginations ; and in some pressure of spirit 
said, the love of ease arid gain are the motives in 
general of keeping slaves, and men are wont to 
take hold of weak arguments to support a cause 
which is unreasonable ; and added, I have no in 
terest on either side, save only the interest which I 
desire to have in the truth : and as I believe liberty 
is their right, and see they are not only deprived of 
it, but treated in other respects with inhumanity in 
many places, I believe He, who is a refuge for the 
oppressed, will, in his own time, plead their cause ; 
and happy will it be for such, who walk in up- 

Tightness before Him : and thus our conversation 

On the fourteenth day of the fifth month I was 
at Camp Creek monthly-meeting, and then rode to 
the mountains up James River, and had a meeting 
at a friend s house ; in both which I felt sqrrow of 
heart, and my tears were poured out before the 
Lord, who was pleased to afford a degree of strength, 
by which way was opened to clear my mind amongst 
friends in those places. From thence I went to Fork 
Creek, and so to Cedar Creek again ; at which place 
I now had a meeting. Here I found a tender seed ; 
and as I was preserved in the ministry to keep low 
with the Truth ; the same truth in their hearts an 
swered it, that it was a time of mutual refreshment 
from the presence of the Lord. I lodged at James 
Standley s, father of William Standley, one of the 
young men who suffered imprisonment at Win 
chester last summer, on account of their testimony 
against fighting ; and I had some satisfactory con 
versation with him concerning it. Hence I went to 
the Swamp-meeting, and to Wayanoke-meeting ; 
and then crossed James River, and lodged near 
Burleigh. From the time of my entering Maryland 
I have been much under sorrow, which of late so 
increased upon me that my mind was almost over 
whelmed; and I may say with the psalmist, <f In 
my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to 
my God ;" who, in infinite goodness, looked upon 
my affliction, and in iny private retirement sent the 
Comforter for my relief; for which I humbly bless 
holv name. 


The sense I had of the state of the churches, 
brought a weight of distress upon me. The gold 
to me appeared dim, and the fine gold changed ; 
and though this is the case too generally, yet the 
sense of it in these parts hath, in a particular man 
ner,, borne heavy upon me. It appeared to me, that 
through the prevailing of the spirit of this world, 
the minds of many were brought to an inward de 
solation ; and instead of the spirit of meekness, 
gentleness, and heavenly wisdom, which are the 
necessary companions of the true sheep of Christ, 
a spirit of fierceness, and the love of dominion, too 
generally prevailed. From small beginnings in 
errors, great buildings, by degrees, are raised; and 
from one age to anothec are more and more strength 
ened by the general concurrence of the people ; and 
as men obtain reputation by their profession of the 
truth, their virtues are mentioned as arguments in 
favour of general error ; and those of less note, to 
justify themselves, say such and such and good men 
did the like. By what other steps could the people 
of Judah arise to that height in wickedness, as to 
give just ground for the prophet Isaiah to declare 
in the name of the Lord, " that none calleth for 
justice, nor any pleadeth for truth/ Isaiah lix. 4; 
or for the Almighty to call upon the great city of 
Jerusalem, just before the Babylonish captivity, 
f( If ye can find a man, if there be any who execu- 
teth judgment, that seeketh the truth, and I will 
pardon it." Jer. v. 1. The prospect of a road lying 
open to the same degeneracy, in some parts of this 
newly settled land of America^ in respect to our 


conduct towards the negroes, hath deeply bowed 
my mind in this journey ; and though to briefly 
relate how these people are treated is no agreeable 
work ; yet,, after often reading over the notes I 
made as I travelled, I find my mind engaged to 
preserve them. Many of the white people in those 
provinces take little or no care of negro marriages ; 
and when negroes marry after their own way, 
some make so little account of those marriages, 
that with views of outward interest, they often part 
men from their wives by selling them far asunder; 
which is common when estates are sold by execu 
tors at vendue. Many whose labour is heavy, being 
followed,, at their business in the field, by a man 
with a whip, hired for that purpose, have in com 
mon little else allowed but one peck of Indian corn 
and some salt for one week, with a few potatoes ; 
the potatoes they commonly raise by their labour 
on the first day of the week. 

The correction ensuing on their disobedience to 
overseers, or slothfulness in business, is often very 
severe, and sometimes desperate. 

Men and women have many times scarce clothes 
enough to hide their nakedness, and boys and girls, 
ten and twelve years old, are often quite naked 
amongst their master s children. Some of our 
society, and some of the society called new-lights, 
use some endeavours to instruct those they have in 
reading ; but in common this is not only neglected, 
but disapproved. These are the people by whose 
labour the other inhabitants are in a great measure 
supported, and many of them in the luxuries of 


life. These are the people who have made no agree 
ment to serve us, and who have not forfeited their 
liberty that we know of. These are the souls for 
whom Christ died ; and for our conduct towards 
them, we must answer before Him who is no re 
specter of persons. 

They who know the only true God, and Jesus 
Christ whom He hath sent, and are thus acquainted 
with the merciful, benevolent, gospel spirit,, will 
therein perceive that the indignation of God is 
kindled against oppression and cruelty ; and in be 
holding the great distress of so numerous a people, 
will tind cause for mourning. 

From my lodgings I went to Burleigh-meeting, 
where I felt my mind drawn into a quiet resigned 
state ; and after long silence, I felt an engagement 
to stand up ; and through the powerful operation 
of divine love, we were favoured with an edifying 
meeting. The next meeting we had was at Black 
Water ; and so to the yearly-meeting at the Wes 
tern Branch. When business began, some queries 
were considered, by some of their members, to be 
now produced ; and if approved, to be answered 
hereafter by their respective monthly-meetings. 
They were the Pennsylvania queries, which had 
been examined by a committee of Virginia yearly- 
meeting appointed the last year, who made some 
alterations in them ; one of which alterations was 
made in favour of a custom which troubled rne. 
The query was, <f Are there any concerned in the 
importation of negroes, or buying them after im 
ported ?" which they altered thus : " Are there any 


concerned in the importation of negroes,, or buying 
them to trade in ?" As one query admitted with 
unanimity was, " Are any concerned in buying or 
vending goods unlawfully imported, or prize 
goods?" I found my rnind engaged to say, that 
as we profess the truth, and were there assembled 
to support the testimony of it, it was necessary for 
us to dwell deep, and act in that wisdom which is 
pure ; or otherwise we could not prosper. I then 
mentioned their alteration ; and, referring to the 
last mentioned query, added, as purchasing any 
merchandize taken by the sword, was always al 
lowed to be inconsistent with our principles ; ne 
groes being captives of war, or taken by stealth, 
those circumstances make it inconsistent with our 
testimony to buy them ; and their being our fellow- 
creatures, who are sold as slaves, adds greatly to 
the iniquity Friends appeared attentive to what 
was said ; some expressed a care and concern about 
their negroes; none made any objection, by way 
of reply to what I said ; but the query was ad 
mitted as they had altered it. As some of their 
members have heretofore traded in negroes, as in 
other merchandize, this query being admitted, will 
be one step further than they have hitherto gone ; 
and I did not see it my duty to press for an altera 
tion ; but felt easy to leave it all to Him, who alone 
is able to turn the hearts of the mighty, and make 
\vay for the spreading of truth on the earth, by 
means agreeable to his infinite wisdom. But in 
regard to those they already had, I felt my mind 
engaged to labour with them ; and said^ that, as 


we believe the scriptures were given forth by holy 
men, as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, and 
many of us know by experience that they are often 
helpful and comfortable, and believe ourselves 
bound in duty to teach our children to read them ; 
I believe, that if we were divested of all selfish 
views, the same good spirit that gave them forth, 
would engage us to teach the negroes to read, that 
they might have the benefit of them. Some there 
were amongst them, who at this time, manifested a 
concern in regard to taking more care in the educa 
tion of their negroes. 

On the twenty-ninth day of the fifth month, at 
the house where I lodged, was a meeting of ministers y 
and elders, at the ninth hour in the morning ; at 
which time I found an engagement to speak freely 
and plainly to them concerning their slaves ; men 
tioning, how they, as the first rank in the society, 
whose conduct in that case was much noticed by 
others, were under the stronger obligations to 
look carefully to themselves. Expressing how need 
ful it was for them in that situation, to be thoroughly 
divested of all selfish views ; that living in the pure 
truth, and acting conscientiously toward those 
people in their education and otherwise, they might 
be instrumental in helping forward a work so exceed 
ingly necessary, and so much neglected amongst 
them. At the twelfth hour the meeting of worship 
began ; which was a solid meeting. 

On the thirtieth day, about the tenth hour, 
friends met to finish their business, and then the 
meeting for worship ensued, which to me was a 


laborious time ; but through the goodness of the 
Lord, Truth, I believe, gained some ground ; and 
it was a strengthening opportunity to the honest- 
hearted . 

About this time I wrote an epistle to friends in 
the back settlements of North Carolina, as follows : 

To Friends at their monthly -meeting at New Garden 
and Cane Creek, in North Carolina, 

Dear Friends, 

IT having pleased the Lord to draw me forth on 
a visit to some parts of Virginia and Carolina, you 
have often been in my mind ; and though my way 
is not clear to come in person to visit you, yet I 
feel it in my heart to communicate a few things, 
as they arise in the love of truth. First, my dear 
friends, dwell in humility; and take heed that no 
views of outward gain get too deep hold of you, 
that so your eyes being single to the Lord, you 
may be preserved in the way of safety. Where 
people let loose their minds after the love of out 
ward things, and are more engaged in pursuing 
the profits, and seeking the friendships of this 
world, than to be inwardly acquainted with the 
way of true peace ; such walk in a vain shadow, 
while the true comfort of life is wanting. Their 
examples are often hurtful to others; and their 
treasures thus collected, do many times prove 
dangerous snares to their children. 

But where people are sincerely devoted to follow 
Christ, and dwell under the influence of his Holy 


Spirit, their stability and firmness, through a divine 
blessing, is at times like dew on the tender plants 
round about them, and the weightiness of their 
spirits secretly works on the minds of others ; and 
in this condition, through the spreading influence 
of divine love, they feel a care over the flock ; and 
way is opened for maintaining good order in the 
society. And though we meet with opposition 
from another spirit, yet, as there is a dwelling in 
meekness, feeling our spirits subject, and moving- 
only in the gentle peaceable wisdom, the inward 
reward of quietness will be greater than all our 
difficulties. Where the pure life is kept to, and 
meetings of discipline are held in the authority of 
it, we find by experience that they are comfortable, 
and tend to the health of the body. 

While I write, the youth come fresh in my way. 
Dear young people, choose God for your portion ; 
love his truth, and be not ashamed of it ; choose 
for your company such who serve Him in upright 
ness ; mid shun, as most dangerous, the conversa 
tion of those whose lives are of an ill savour; for 
by frequenting such company, some hopeful young 
people have come to great loss, and been drawn 
from less evils to greater, to their utter ruin. In 
the bloom of youth no ornament is so lovely as 
that of virtue, nor any enjoyments equal to those 
which we partake of, in fully resigning ourselves to 
the divine will. These enjoyments add sweetness 
to all other comforts, and give true satisfaction in 
company and conversation, where people are mu 
tually acquainted with it ; and as your minds are 


thus seasoned with the truth, you will find strength 
to abide stedfast to the testimony of it, and be pre 
pared for services in the church. 

And now,, dear friends arid brethren, as you are 
improving a wilderness, and may be numbered 
amongst the first planters in one part of a province, 
I beseech you, in the love of Jesus Christ, to wisely 
consider the force of your examples, and think how 
much your successors may be thereby affected. It 
is a help in a country; yea, and a great favour and 
a blessing, when customs first settled, are agreeable 
to sound wisdom ; so when they are otherwise, 
the effect of them is grievous ; and children feel 
themselves encompassed with difficulties prepared 
for them by their predecessors. 

As moderate care and exercise, under the direc 
tion of true wisdom, are useful both to mind and 
body; so, by these means in general, the real wants 
of life are easily supplied. Our gracious Father 
having so proportioned one to the other, that keep 
ing in the medium we may pass on quietly. Where 
slaves are purchased to do our labour, numerous 
difficulties attend it. To rational creatures bond 
age is uneasy, and frequently occasions sourness 
and discontent in them ; which affects the family, 
and such who claim the mastery over them. And 
ihus people and their children are many times en 
compassed with vexations, which arise from their 
applying to wrong methods to get a living. 

1 have been informed that there are a large num 
ber of friends in your parts, who have no slaves; 
and in tender and most affectionate love, I beseech 


you to keep clear from purchasing any. Look, my 
dear friends, to Divine Providence ; and follow in 
simplicity that exercise of body, that plainness and 
frugality,, which true wisdom leads to ; so may you 
be preserved from those dangers which attend such 
who are aiming at outward ease and greatness. 

Treasures, though small, attained on a true prin 
ciple of virtue, are sweet in the possession ; and 
while we walk in the light of the Lord, there is 
true comfort and satisfaction. Here, neither the 
murmurs of an oppressed people, nor throbbing 
uneasy conscience, nor anxious thoughts about the 
events of things, hinder the enjoyment of it. 

When we look towards the end of life, arid think 
on the division of our substance among our suc 
cessors ; if we know that it was collected in the 
fear of the Lord, in honesty, in equity, and in up 
rightness of heart before Him, we may consider it 
as his gift to us ; and with a single eye to his bles 
sing, bestow it on those we leave behind us. Such 
is the happiness of the plain ways of true virtue. 
" The work of righteousness shall be peace ; and 
the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance 
for ever." Isa. xxxii. 17. 

Dwell here, my dear friends; and then in remote 
and solitary deserts, you may find true peace and 
satisfaction. If the Lord be our God, in truth and 
reality, there is safety for us ; for He is a strong 
hold in the day of trouble, and knoweth them that 
trust in Him. 

Isle of Wight County, in Virginia, 
29th of the bth month, 1757. 


From the yearly meeting in Virginia, I went to 
Carolina ; and on the first day of the sixth month, 
was at Wells monthly meeting-, where the spring of 
the gospel ministry was opened, arid the love of 
Jesus Christ experienced amongst us: to his name 
be the praise. 

Here my brother joined with some friends from 
New Garden, who were going homeward ; and I 
went next to Simons Creek monthly meeting, where 
I was silent during the meeting for worship ; and 
when business came on, my rnind was exercised 
concerning the poor slaves ; but did not feel my 
way clear to speak. In this condition I was bowed 
in spirit before the Lord ; and with tears and in 
ward supplication besought Him,, so to open my 
understanding, that I might know his will concern 
ing me; and, at length, my mind was settled in 
silence. Near the end of their business, a member 
of their meeting expressed a concern, that had some 
time lain upon him, on account of friends so much 
neglecting their duty in the education of their 
slaves ; and proposed having meetings sometimes 
appointed for them on a week day, to be only at 
tended by some friends to be named in their 
monthly meetings ; many present appeared to unite 
with the proposal. One said, he had often won 
dered that they, being our fellow-creatures and 
capable of religious understanding, had been so 
exceedingly neglected : another expressed the like 
concern, and appeared zealous, that friends, in 
future, might more closely consider it. At length 
a minute was made ; and the further consideration 


of it referred to then- next monthly meeting. The 
friend who made this proposal hath negroes : he 
told me, that he was at New Garden ; about two 
hundred and fifty miles from home,, and came back 
alone; and that in this solitary journey, this exer 
cise, in regard to the education of their negroes, 
was, from time to time., renewed in his mind. A 
friend of some note in Virginia, who hath slaves, 
told me, that he being far from home on a lonesome 
journey, had many serious thoughts about them ; 
and that his mind was so impressed therewith, that 
he believed that he saw a time coming, when Divine 
Providence would alter the circumstance of these 
people, respecting their condition as slaves. 

From hence I went to Newbegun Creek, and sat 
a considerable time in much weakness ; then I felt 
truth open the way to speak a little in much plain 
ness and simplicity, till, at length, through the 
increase of divine love amongst us, we had a sea 
soning opportunity. From thence to the head of 
Little River, on a first day, where was a crowded 
meeting; and, I believe, was through divine good 
ness, made profitable to some. Thence to the Old 
Neck ; where I was led into a careful searching out 
of the secret workings of the mystery of iniquity, 
which, under a cover of religion, exalts itself against 
that pure spirit, which leads in the way of meekness 
and self-denial. From thence to Piney woods : 
this was the last meeting I was at in Carolina, and 
was large ; and my heart being deeply engaged, 
I was drawn forth into a fervent labour amongst 


When I was at Newbcgun Creek, a friend was 
there who laboured for his living, having no ne 
groes, and had been a minister many years. He 
came to me the next day ; and as we rode together, 
he signified that he wanted to talk with me con 
cerning a difficulty he had been under, and related 
it nearly as follows : to wit, that as monies had of 
late years been raised by a tax to carry on the 
wars, he had a scruple in his mind in regard to pay 
ing it ; and chose rather to suffer distraint of his 
goods than pay it ; and as he was the only person 
who refused it in those parts, and knew not that any 
one else was in the like circumstances, he signified 
that it had been a heavy trial to him ; and more so, 
for that some of his brethren had been uneasy with 
his conduct in that case. He added, that from a 
sympathy he felt with me yesterday in meeting, he 
found freedom thus to open the matter, in the 
way of querying concerning friends in our parts : 
whereupon I told him the state of friends amongst 
us, as well as I was able ; and also, that I had, for 
some time, been under the like scruple. I believed 
him to be one who was concerned to walk up 
rightly before the Lord ; and esteemed it my 
duty to preserve this note concerning him, Samuel 

From hence I went back into Virginia, and had 
a meeting near James Cowpknd s ; it was a time 
of inward suffering; but, through the goodness of 
the Lord, I was made content; then to another 
meeting; where, through the renewings of pure love, 
we had a very comfortable season. 


Travel ling- "up and down of late, I have had re 
newed evidences, that to be faithful to the Lord, 
and content with his will concerning me/ is a most 
necessary and useful lesson for me to be learning ; 
looking less at the effects of my labour,, than at the 
pure motion and reality of the concern, as it arises 
from heavenly love. In the Lord Jehovah is ever 
lasting strength ; and as the mind,, by a humble 
resignation,, is united to Him,, and we utter words 
from an inward knowledge that they arise from the 
heavenly spring, though our way may be difficult., 
and require close attention to keep in it; and 
though the manner in which we may be led, may 
tend to our own abasement; yet, if we continue in 
patience and meekness, heavenly peace is the re 
ward of our labours. 

From thence I went to Curies meeting; which, 
though small, was reviving to the honest-hearted. 
Thence to Black Creek and Caroline meetings ; 
from whence, accompanied by William Standley, 
before mentioned, we rode to Goose Creek, being- 
much through the woods, and about one hundred 
miles. We lodged, the first night, at a public- 
house ; the second, in the woods ; and the next 
day, we reached a friend s house, at Goose Creek. 
In the woods we lay under some disadvantage, 
having no fire-works nor bells for our horses ; but 
we stopped a little before night, and let them feed 
on the wild grass which was plentiful ; in the mean 
time cuttin" with our knives a store against iiiirfH. 

O O o * 

and then tied them ; and gathering some bushes 
under an oak, we lay down ; but the musquetoes 


being numerous and the ground damp, I slept but 
little. Thus lying in the wilderness,, and looking 
at the stars, I was led to contemplate on the con 
dition of our first parents,, when they were sent 
forth from the garden ; but the Almighty, though 
they had been disobedient, continued to be a father 
to them; and showed them what tended to their 
felicity as intelligent creatures, and was acceptable 
to Him. To provide things relative to our outward 
living, in the way of true wisdom, is good ; and the 
gift of improving in things useful, is a good gift, 
and comes from the Father of lights. Many have 
had this gift ; and, from age to age, there have 
been improvements of this kind made in the world, 
But some not keeping to the pure gift, have, in the 
creaturely cunning and self-exaltation, sought out 
many inventions; which inventions of men, as dis 
tinct from that uprightness in which man was cre 
ated, as the first motion to them was evil, so the 
effects have been and are evil. At this day, it is 
as necessary for us constantly to attend ou the 
heavenly gift, to be qualified to use rightly the 
good things in this life amidst great improvements, 
as it was for our first parents, when they were with 
out any improvements, without any friend or father 
but God only. 

I was at a meeting at Goose Creek ; and next at 
a monthly meeting at Fairfax ; where, through the 
gracious dealing of the Almighty with us, his power 
prevailed over many hearts. Thence to Mono- 
quacy and Pipe Creek., in Maryland ; at both which 
places I had cause humbly to adore Him, who sup- 


ported me through many exercises., and by whose 
help I was enabled to reach the true witness in the 
hearts of others. There were some hopeful young 
people in those parts. Thence I had meetings at 
John Event s in Monalen, and at Huntingdon ; and 
I was made humbly thankful to the Lord, who 
opened my heart amongst the people in these new 
settlements, so that it was a time of encouragement 
to the honest-minded. 

At Monalen, a friend gave me some account of 
a religious society among the Dutch, called Men- 
nonists; and, amongst other things, related a pas 
sage in substance as follows : One of the Men- 
nonists having acquaintance with a man of another 
society at a considerable distance,, and being with 
his waggon on business near the house of his said 
acquaintance, and night coining on, he had thoughts 
of putting up with him ; but passing by his fields, 
and observing the distressed appearance of his 
slaves, he kindled a fire in the woods hard by, and 
lay there that night. His said acquaintance hearing 
where he lodged, and, afterwards meeting the 
Mennonist, told him of it; adding, he should have 
been heartily welcome at his house; and from their 
acquaintance in former time, wondered at his con 
duct in that case: the Mennonist replied, ever since 
I lodged by thy field, I have wanted an opportunity 
to speak with thee. The matter was ; I intended 
to have come to thy house for entertainment, but 
seeing thy slaves at their work, and observing the 
manner of their dress, I had no liking to corne to 
partake with thee ; then admonished him to use 


them with more humanity ; and added, as I lay by 
the fire that night., I thought that as I was a man of 
substance, thon wonldst have received me freely ; 
but if 1 had been as poor as one of thy slaves, and 
had no power to help myself, 1 should have received 
from thy hand no kinder usage than they. 

Hence 1 was at three meetings in my way ; and 
so I went home, under a humbling sense of the 
gracious dealings of the Lord with me, in preserving 
me through many trials and afflictions in my jour 
ney. I was out about two mouths,, and travelled 
about eleven hundred and iifty miles. 



Considerations on the payment of a tax, laid for 
carrying on the war against the Indians. Some 
notes on Thomas a Kempis and John Huss. 
Meetings of the committee of the yearly meeting 
at Philadelphia. The present circumstances of 

friends in Pennsylvania and New Jersey very 
different from those of our predecessors. The 
draughting of the militia in New Jersey to serve in 
the army ; with some observations on the state of 
the members of our society at that time. His visit 
to friends in Pennsylvania, accompanied by Ben- 

jamin Jones. Proceedings at the monthly, quar 
terly, and yearly ?neetings 3 in Philadelphia, re 
specting those who keep slaves. 

A FEW years past,, money being made current in 
our province for carrying on wars,, arid to be called 
in again by taxes laid on the inhabitants, my mind 
was often affected with the thoughts of paying such 
taxes; and I believe it right for me to preserve a 
memorandum concerning it. I was told,, that friends 
in England frequently paid taxes., when the money 
was applied to such purposes. I had conversation 
with several noted friends on the subject, who all 
favoured the payment of such taxes; some of whom 
I preferred before myself, and this made me easier 
for a time, yet there was in the deeps of my- mind, 


a scruple which I never could get over; and, at 
certain times,, I was greatly distressed on that ac 

I all along believed that there were some upright- 
hearted men., who paid such taxes ; but could not 
see that their example was a sufficient reason for 
me to do so,, while I believed that the spirit of truth 
required of me., as an individual, to suffer patiently 
the distress of goods, rather than pay actively. 

I have been informed that Thomas a Kempis lived 
and died in the profession of the Roman Catholic 
religion ; and in reading his writings, I have be 
lieved him to be a man of a true Christian spirit ; 
as fully so, as many who died martyrs because 
they could not join with some superstitions in that 

All true Christians are of the same spirit, but 
their gifts are diverse; Jesus Christ appointing to 
each one his peculiar office, agreeable to his infi 
nite wisdom. 

John Huss contended against the errors crept 
into the church, in opposition to the council of 
Constance; which the historian reports to have 
consisted of some thousand persons. He modestly 
vindicated the cause which he believed was right; 
and though his language and conduct towards his 
judges appear to have been respectful, yet he never 
could be moved from the principles settled in his 
mind. To use his own words; " This I most 
humbly require and desire of you all, even for his 
sake who is the God of us all, that I be not com 
pelled to the thing which my conscience doth re- 


pugn or strive against." And again, in his answer 
to the emperor ; " I refuse nothing, most noble em 
peror, whatsoever the council shall decree or deter 
mine upon me, only this one thing I except, that I 
do not offend God and my conscience/ Fox s 
Acts and Monuments,, page 233. At length, rather 
than act contrary to that which he believed the 
Lord required of him, he chose to suffer death by 
fire. Thomas a Keinpis, without disputing against 
the articles then generally agreed to, appears to have 
laboured, by a pious example as well as by preach 
ing and writing, to promote virtue, and the inward 
spiritual religion : and I believe they were both 
sincere-hearted followers of Christ. 

True charity is an excellent virtue ; and sincerely 
to labour for their good, whose belief, in all points, 
doth not agree with ours, is a happy state. To 
refuse the active payment of a tax which our society 
generally paid was exceedingly disagreeable ; but 
to do a thing contrary to my conscience, appeared 
yet more dreadful. When this exercise came upon 
me, I knew of none under the like difficulty ; and, 
in my distress, I besought the Lord to enable me to 
give up all, that so I might follow Him wheresoever 
He was pleased to lead rne. And under this exer 
cise I went to our yearly meeting at Philadelphia, 
in the year 1755; at which a committee was ap 
pointed of some from each quarter, to correspond 
with the meeting for sufferings in London ; and 
another to visit our monthly and quarterly meetings ; 
and after their appointment, before the last adjourn-, 
meat of the meeting, it was agreed in the meeting, 


that these two committees should meet together in 
friends school-house in the city,, at a time then con 
cluded on, to consider some things in which the 
cause of truth was concerned ; and these committees 
meeting together,, had a weighty conference in the 
fear of the Lord ; at which time, I perceived,, there 
were many friends under a scruple like that before- 

As scrupling to pay a tax on account of the appli 
cation,, hath seldom been heard of heretofore, even 
amongst men of integrity, who have steadily borne 
their testimony against outward wars in their time ; 
I may here note some things which have occurred 
to my mind, as I have been inwardly exercised on 
that account. From the steady opposition which 
faithful friends, in early times, made to wrong things 
then approved of, they were hated and persecuted 
by men living in the spirit of this world ; and suf 
fering with firmness, they were made a blessing to 
the church, and the work prospered. It equally 
concerns men, in every age, to take heed to their 
own spirit : and in comparing their situation with 
ours, it looks to me there was less danger of their 
being infected with the spirit of this world, in pay 
ing such taxes, than there is of us now. They had 
little or no share in civil government; and many or 
them declared they were, through the power of 
God, separated from the spirit in which wars were ; 
and being afflicted by the rulers on account of their 

* Christians refused to pay taxes to support heathen temples. 
See Primitive Christianity, part III, page 327. 


testimony., there was less likelihood of uniting in 
spirit with them in things inconsistent with the 
purity of truth. We, from the first settlement of 
this land,, have known little or no troubles of that 
sort. Their profession, for a time, was accounted 
reproachful ; hut, at length,, the uprightness of our 
predecessors being understood by the rulers, and 
their innocent sufferings moving them, our way of 
worship was tolerated ; and many of our members 
in these colonies became active in civil government. 
Being thus tried with favour and prosperity, this 
world hath appeared inviting; our minds have been 
turned to the improvement of our country, to mer 
chandize and sciences, amongst which are many 
things useful, being followed in pure wisdom ; but 
in our present condition, that a carnal mind is 
gaining upon us, I believe will not be denied. 
Some of our members, who are officers in civil 
government, are, in one case or other, called upon 
in their respective stations to assist in things rela 
tive to the wars. Such being in doubt whether to 
act, or crave to be excused from their office, seeing 
their brethren united in the payment of a tax to 
carry on the said wars, might think their case not 
much different, and so quench the tender movings 
of the Holy Spirit in their minds ; and thus, by 
small degrees, there might be an approach towards 
that of fighting, till we came so near it, as that the 
distinction would be little else, but the name of a 
peaceable people. 

It requires great self-denial and resignation of 
ourselves to God, to attain that state wherein we 


can freely cease from fighting 1 when wrongfully in 
vaded ; if, by our fighting, there were a probability 
of overcoming the invaders. Whoever rightly attains 
to it, does in some degree feel that, spirit, in which 
our Redeemer gave his life for us ; and through 
divine goodness, many of our predecessors,, and 
many now living, have learned this blessed lesson ; 
but many others, having their religion chiefly by 
education, and riot being enough acquainted with 
that cross which crucifies to the world, do manifest a 
temper distinguishable from that of an entire trust 
in God. In calmly considering these things, it hath 
not appeared strange to me, that an exercise hath 
now fallen upon some, which, as to the outward 
means of it, is different from what was known to 
many of those who went before us. 

Some time after the yearly meeting, a clay being 
appointed, and letters written to distant members, 
the said committees met at Philadelphia ; and, by 
adjournments, continued several days. The calami 
ties of war were now increasing ; the frontier in 
habitants of Pennsylvania were frequently sur 
prised, some slain, and many taken captive by the 
Indians ; and while these committees sat, the corpse 
of one so slain was brought in a waggon, and 
taken through the streets of the city, in his bloody 
garments, to alarm the people, and rouse them up 
to war. 

Friends thus met were not all of one mind in 
relation to the tax ; which, to such who scrupled it, 
made the way more difficult. To refuse an active 
payment at such a time, might be construed an act 


of disloyalty, and appeared likely to displease the 
rulers, not only here but in England; still there was 
a scruple so fastened upon the rninds of many 
friends, that nothing moved it. It was a conference 
the most weighty that ever I was at ; and the 
hearts of many were bowed in reverence before the 
Most High. Some friends of the said committees 
who appeared easy to pay the tax, after several 
adjournments, withdrew; others of them continued 
till the last ; at length, an epistle of tender love and 
caution, to friends in Pennsylvania, was drawn up by 
some friends concerned, on that subject; and being 
read several times and corrected, was then signed 
by such of them as were free to sign it, and after 
ward sent to the monthly and quarterly meetings. 

On the ninth day of the eighth month, in the year 
1757, at night, orders came to the military officers 
in our county (Burlington), directing them to draft 
the militia, and prepare a number of men to go off 
as soldiers, to the relief of the English at fort 
William Henry, in New York government ; a few 
days after which, there was a general review of the 
militia at Mount Holly, and a number of men 
chosen and sent off under some officers. Shortly 
after, there came orders to draught three times as 
many, to hold themselves in readiness to march 
when fresh orders came. And, on the seventeenth 
day of the eighth month, there was a meeting of the 
military officers at Mount Holly, who agreed on a 
draught ; and orders were sent to the men so 
chosen, to meet their respective captains at set 
times and places ; those in our township to meet at 


Mount Holly; amongst whom were a considerable 
number of our society. My mind being* affected 
herewith, I had fresh opportunity to see and con 
sider the advantage of living in the real substance 
of religion,, where practice doth harmonize with 
principle. Amongst the officers are men of under 
standing, who have some regard to sincerity where 
they see it ; and in the execution of their office, 
when they have men to deal with whom they be 
lieve to be upright hearted, to put them to trouble 
on account of scruples of conscience, is a painful 
task, and likely to be avoided as much as easily 
maybe. But where men profess to be so meek and 
heavenly-minded, and to have their trust so firmly 
settled in God, that they cannot join in wars; and 
yet, by their spirit and conduct in common life, 
manifest a contrary disposition, their difficulties are 
great at such a time. 

Officers in great anxiety endeavouring to get 
troops to answer the demands of their superiors, 
seeing men, who are insincere, pretend scruple of 
conscience, in hopes of being excused from a dan 
gerous employment, they are likely to be roughly 
handled. In this time of commotion some of our 
young men left the parts, and tarried abroad till it 
was over ; some came, and proposed to go as sol 
diers ; others appeared to have a real tender scruple 
in their minds against joining in wars, and were 
much humbled under the apprehension of a trial 
so near. I had conversation with several of them 
to my satisfaction. At the set time when the 
captain came to town, some of those last mentioned 


went and told him in substance as follows : That 
they could not bear arms for conscience sake ; nor 
could they hire any to go in their places,, being re 
signed as to the event of it. At length the captain 
acquainted them all, that they might return home 
for the present, and required them to provide them 
selves as soldiers, and to be in readiness to march 
\vhen called upo > This was such a time as I had 
not seen before ; and yet I may say, with thank 
fulness to the Lord, that I believed this trial was 
intended for our good ; and I was favoured with 
resignation to Him. The French army taking the 
fort they were besieging, destroyed it and went 
away ; the company of men first draughted, after 
some days march, had orders to return home ; and 
those on the second draught, were no more called 
upon on that occasion. 

On the fourth day of the fourth month, in the 
year 1758, orders came to some officers,, in Mount 
Holly, to prepare quarters, a short time, for about 
one hundred soldiers. And an officer arid two 
other men, all inhabitants of our town, came to my 
house ; and the officer told me, that he came to 
speak with me, to provide lodging and entertain 
ment for two soldiers, there being six shillings a 
week per man allowed as pay for it. The case 
being new and unexpected, I made no answer 
suddenly ; but sat a time silent, my mind being 
inward. I was fully convinced, that the proceed 
ings in wars are inconsistent with the purity of the 
Christian religion ; and to be hired to entertain, 
men, who were then under pay as soldiers, was a 


difficulty with me. I expected they had legal 
authority for what they did ; and, after a short time, 
I said to the officer,, if the men are sent here for 
entertainment,, I believe I shall not refuse to admit 
them into my house; but the nature of the case is 
such, that I expect I cannot keep them on hire : 
one of the men intimated, that he thought I might 
do it consistent with my religious principles. To 
which I made no reply ; as believing silence, at 
that time, best for me. Though they spake of two, 
there came only one, who tarried at my house 
about two weeks, and behaved himself civilly ; and 
when the officer came to pay me, I told him I could 
not take pay for it, having admitted him into my 
house in a passive obedience to authority. I was 
on horseback when he spake to me ; and as I 
turned from him, he said, he was obliged to me ; 
to which I said nothing: but thinking on the ex 
pression, I grew uneasy ; and, afterwards, being 
near where he lived, I went and told him on 
what grounds I refused taking pay for keeping the 

Near the beginning of the year 1758, I went one 
evening, in company with a friend, to visit a sick 
person ; and before our return, we were told of a 
woman living near, who of late, had several days 
been disconsolate, occasioned by a dream; wherein 
death, and the judgments of the Almighty after 
death, were represented to her mind in a moving 
manner. Her sadness on that account, being worn 
off; the friend, with whom I was in company, wew.t 
to see her, and had some religious conversation 


with her and her husband. With this visit they were 
somewhat affected ; and the man, with many tears., 
expressed his satisfaction ; arid, in a short time after,, 
the poor man being on the river in a storm of wind, 
he, with one more, was drowned. 

In the eighth month of the year 1758, having had 
drawings in my mind to be at the quarterly meet 
ing in Chester county, and at some meetings in 
the county of Philadelphia, I went first to said 
quarterly meeting, which was large ; and several 
weighty matters came under consideration and 
debate ; and the Lord was pleased to qualify some 

of his servants with strength and firmness, to bear 

o * 

the burden of the day. Though I said but little, my 
mind was deeply exercised ; and, under a sense of 
God s love, in the anointing and fitting some young 
men for his work, I was comforted, and my heart 
was tendered before Him. From hence I went 
to the youth s meeting at Darby, where my be 
loved friend and brother Benjamin Jones met me, 
by an appointment before I left home, to join 
in the visit. And we were at Radnor, Merion, 
Richland, North Wales, Plymouth, and Abington 
meetings ; and had cause to bow iri reverence 
before the Lord, our gracious God, by whose help 
way was opened for us from day to day. I was 
out about two weeks, and rode about two hundred 

The monthly meeting of Philadelphia having 
been under a concern, on account of some friends, 
who this summer (1758) had bought negro slaves : 

G 2 


the said meeting moved it to their quarterly meet 
ing, to have their minute reconsidered in the 
yearly meeting, which was made last on that sub 
ject ; and the said quarterly meeting appointed a 
committee to consider it,, and to report to their 
next : which committee having met once and ad 
journed., and I going to Philadelphia to meet, a 
committee of the yearly meeting, was in town the 
evening on which the quarterly meeting s com 
mittee met the second time; and finding an in 
clination to sit with them, was, with some others, 
admitted ; and friends had a weighty conference 
on the subject. Soon after their next quarterly 
meeting, I heard that the case was coming to our 
yearly meeting ; which brought a weighty exer 
cise upon me,, and under a sense of my own in 
firmities, and the great danger I felt of turning 
aside from perfect purity., my mind was often drawn 
to retire alone, and put up rny prayers to* the Lord, 
that He would be graciously pleased to strengthen 
rne ; that setting aside all views of self-interest and 
the friendship of this world, I might stand fully re 
signed to his holy will. 

In this yearly meeting, several weighty matters 
were considered ; and toward the last, that in re 
lation to dealing with persons who purchase slaves. 
During the several sittings of the said meeting, my 
mind was frequently covered with inward prayer; 
and I could say with David, <f that tears were rny 
meat day and night/ The case of slave-keeping 
lay heavy upon rne; nor did I find any engagement 


to speak directly to any other matter before the 
meeting. Now when this case was opened, several 
faithful friends spake weightily thereto, with which 
I was comforted ; and feeling- a concern to cast in 
my mite,, I said,, in substance,, as follows : 

" In the difficulties attending us in this life, 
nothing is more precious than the mind of truth 
inwardly manifested; and it is my earnest desire, 
that in this weighty matter, we may be so truly 
humbled as to be favoured with a clear understand 
ing of the mind of truth,, and follow it; this would 
be of more advantage to the society, than any 
medium not in the clearness of divine wisdom. 
The case is difficult to some who have them ; but 
if such set aside all self-interest, and come to be 
Aveaned from the desire of getting estates, or even 
from holding them together, when truth requires the 
contrary, I believe way will open that they will know 
how to steer through those difficulties." 

Many friends appeared to be deeply bowed 
under the weight of the work ; and manifested 
much firmness in their love to the cause of truth, 
and universal righteousness on the earth. And 
though none did openly justify the practice of 
slave-keeping in general, yet some appeared con 
cerned, lest the meeting should go into such mea 
sures, as might give uneasiness to many brethren ; 
alledging, that if friends patiently continued under 
the exercise, the Lord, in time to come, might open 
a way for the deliverance of these people ; and I 
finding an engagement to speak, said, " My mind 


is often led to consider the purity of the Divine 
Being, and the justice of his judgments ; and 
herein my soul is covered with awfulness. I can 
not omit to hint of some cases, where people have 
not been treated with the purity of justice, and the 
event hath been lamentable. Many slaves on this 
continent are oppressed, and their cries have 
reached the ears of the Most High. Such are the 
purity and certainty of his judgments, that He can 
not be partial in our favour. In infinite love and 
goodness, He hath opened our understandings from 
one time to another, concerning our duty towards 
this people; and it is not a time for delay. Should 
we now be sensible of what He requires of us, and 
through a respect to the private interest of some 
persons, or through a regard to some friendships 
which do not stand on an immutable foundation, 
neglect to do our duty in firmness and constancy, 
still waiting for some extraordinary means to bring 
about their deliverance ; it may be by terrible 
things in righteousness, God may answer us in this 

Many faithful brethren laboured with great 
firmness ; and the love of truth, in a good degree, 
prevailed. Several friends, who had negroes, ex 
pressed their desire that a rule might be made, to 
deal with such friends as oilenders who bought 
slaves in future. To this it was answered, that 
the root of this evil would never be effectually 
struck at, until a thorough search was made into 
the circumstances of such friends as kept negroes, 


with respect to the righteousness of their motives 
in keeping them, that impartial justice might be 
administered throughout. Several friends expressed 
their desire, that a visit might be made to such 
friends as kept slaves : and many friends said, 
that they believed liberty was the negroes right ; to 
which,, at length,, no opposition was made publicly. 
A minute was made more full on that subject, than 
any heretofore ; and the names of several friends 
entered, who were free to join in a visit to such as 
kept slaves. 



His visiting the quarterly meetings in Chester 
county; and afterwards joining with Daniel 
Stanton and John Scarborough, in a visit to such 
as kept slaves there. Some observations on the 
conduct such should maintain who are concerned 
to speak in meetings for discipline. Several more 
visits to such as kept slaves ; and to friends near 
Salem. Some account of the yearly meeting in 
the year 1759,, and of the increasing concern in 
divers provinces, to labour against buying and 
keeping slaves. The yearly meeting epistle. 
His thoughts on the small-pox spreading and on 

ON the eleventh day of the eleventh month, in 
the year 1758, I set out for Concord ; the quarterly 
meeting heretofore held there, was now,, by reason 
of a great increase of members, divided into two by 
the agreement of friends, at our last yearly meeting. 
Here I met with our beloved friends Samuel 
Spavold and Mary Kirby from England, and with 
Joseph White from Bucks county, who had taken 
leave of his family in order to go on a religious 
visit to friends in England ; and, through divine 
goodness, we were favoured with a strengthening 
opportunity together. 


After this meeting,, 1 joined with my friends Daniel 
Stanton and John Scarborough, in visiting friends 
who had slaves ; and at night we had a family 
meeting at William Trimble s, many young people 
being there ; and it was a precious, reviving oppor- 
tuaity. Next morning we had a comfortable sitting 
with a sick neighbour ; and thence to the burial of 
the corpse of a friend at Uwchland meeting, at which 
were many people, and it was a time of divine 
favour, after which, we visited some who had slaves; 
and, at night, had a family meeting at a friend s 
house, where the channel of gospel love was opened, 
and my mind was comforted after a hard day s 
labour. The next day we were at Goshen monthly 
meeting; and thence, on the eighteenth day of the 
eleventh month, in the year 1758, attended the 
quarterly meeting at London Grove, it being the 
first held at that place. Here we met again with 
all the before-mentioned friends, and had some 
edifying meetings. And near the conclusion of the 
meeting for business, friends were incited to con 
stancy in supporting the testimony of truth, and re 
minded of the necessity which the disciples of Christ 
are under to attend principally to his business, as 
he is pleased to open it to us ; and to be particularly 
careful to have our minds redeemed from the love 
of wealth; to have our outward affairs in as little 
room as may be ; that no temporal concerns may 
entangle our affections, or hinder us from diligently 
following the dictates of truth, in labouring to pro 
mote the pure spirit of meekness and heaven ly- 
mindedness amongst the children of men, in these 


days of calamity arid distress, wherein God is visit 
ing our land with his just judgments. 

Each of these quarterly meetings was large, and 
sat near eight hours. Here I had occasion to con 
sider, that it is a weighty thing to speak much in 
large meetings for business : for, except our minds 
are rightly prepared,, and we clearly understand the 
case we speak to, instead of forwarding, we hinder 
business, and make more labour for those on whom 
the burden of the work is laid. 

If selfish views, or a partial spirit, have any room 
in our minds, we are unfit for the Lord s work ; if 
we have a clear prospect of the business, and proper 
weight on our minds to speak, it behoves us to avoid 
useless apologies and repetitions. Where people 
are gathered from far, arid adjourning a meeting of 
business is attended with great difficulty, it behoves 
all to be cautious how they detain a meeting ; 
especially when they have sat six or seven hours, 
and have a great distance to ride home. After this 
meeting I rode home. 

In the beginning of the twelfth month of the year 
1758, I joined in company with my friends John 
Sykes and Daniel Stan ton in visiting such as had 
slaves. Some, whose hearts were rightly exercised 
about them, appeared to be glad of our visit; but 
in some places our way was more difficult ; and I 
often saw the necessity of keeping down to that root 
from whence our concern proceeded ; and have 
cause, in reverent thankfulness, humbly to bow 
down before the Lord, who was near to me, and 
preserved my mind in calmness under some sharp 


conflicts, and begat a spirit of sympathy and tender 
ness in me, towards some who were grievously en 
tangled by the spirit of this world. 

In the first month of the year 1759, having found 
my mind drawn to visit some of the more active 
members in our society at Philadelphia, who had 
slaves, I met my friend John Churchman there by 
an agreement ; and we continued about a week in 
the city. We visited some that were sick, and 
some widows and their families ; and the other part 
of our time was mostly employed in visiting such 
who had slaves. It was a time of deep exercise, 
looking often to the Lord for his assistance ; who, 
in unspeakable kindness, favoured us with the in 
fluence of that spirit, which crucifies to the great 
ness and splendour of this world, and enabled us to 
go through some heavy labours, in which we found 

On the twenty-fourth day of the third month, of 
this year, I was at our general spring meeting at 
Philadelphia. After which, I again joined with 
John Churchman on a visit to some more, who had 
slaves in Philadelphia ; and, with thankfulness to 
our heavenly Father, 1 may say, that divine love 
and a true sympathizing tenderness of heart, pre 
vailed at times iri this service. 

Having, at times, perceived a shyness in some 
friends of considerable note, towards me, I found an 
engagement in gospel love to pay a visit to one of 
them ; and as I dwelt under the exercise, I felt a, 
resignedness in my mind to go. So I went, ancj 
told him in private, I hud a desire to 1m ve an 


opportunity with him alone ; to which he readily 
agreed : and then, in the fear of the Lord, thing s 
relating to that shyness were searched to the bot 
tom ; and we had a large conference,, which, I be 
lieve,, was of use to both of us; and am thankful 
that way was opened for it. 

On the fourteenth day of the sixth month, in the 
same year, having felt drawings in my mind to visit 
friends about Salem, and having the approbation of 
our monthly meeting therein, I attended their quar 
terly meeting, and was out seven days, and at seven 
meetings ; in some of which I was chiefly silent, and 
in others, through the baptizing power of truth, my 
heart was enlarged in heavenly love, and found a 
near fellowship with the brethren and sisters, in the 
manifold trials attending their Christian progress 
through this world. 

In the seventh month, I found an increasing con 
cern on my mind to visit some active members in 
our society who had slaves ; and having no oppor 
tunity of the company of such as were named in 
the minutes of the yearly meeting, I went alone to 
their houses, and, in the fear of the Lord, acquainted 
them with the exercise I was under : and thus, 
sometimes, by a few words, I found myself dis 
charged from a heavy burden. 

After this, our friend John Churchman coming 
into our province with a view to be at some meet 
ings, and to join again in the visit to those who 
had slaves ; I bore him company in the said visit 
to some active members, and found inward satis 


At our yearly meeting hi the year J759, we had 
some weighty seasons ; where the power of truth 
was largely extended, to the strengthening of the 
honest-minded. As friends read over the epistles, 
to be sent to the yearly meetings along this conti 
nent,, I observed in most of them, both this year 
and last, it was recommended to friends to labour 
against buying and keeping slaves ; and in some of 
them closely treated upon. As this practice hath 
long been a heavy exercise to me, and I have often 
waded through mortifying labours on that account ; 
and, at times, in some meetings been almost alone 
therein ; now observing the increasing concern in 
our religious society, and seeing how the Lord was 
raising up and qualifying servants for his work, not 
only in this respect, but for promoting the cause of 
truth in general, I was humbly bowed in thankful 
ness before Him. This meeting continued near a 
week : and, for several days, in the forepart of it, 
my rnind was drawn into a deep, inward stillness ; 
and being, at times, covered with the spirit of 
supplication, my heart was secretly poured out be 
fore the Lord. And near the conclusion of the 
meeting for business, way openeu, that, in the pure 
flowings of divine love, 1 expressed what lay upon 
me; which, as it then arose in my mind, was 
ef first to show how deep answers to deep in the 
hearts of the sincere and upright; though, in their 
different growths, they may not all have attained to 
the same clearness in some points relating to our 
testimony. And I was led to mention the integrity 
and constancy of many martyrs, who gave their 


lives for the testimony of Jesus: and yet, in some 
points, held doctrines distinguishable from some 
which we hold ; and that, in all ages where people 
were faithful to the light and understanding which 
the Most High afforded them, they found acceptance 
with Him ; and that now, though there are different 
ways of thinking amongst us in some particulars, yet, 
if we mutually kept to that spirit and power which 
crucifies to the world, which teaches us to be content 
with things really needful and to avoid all super 
fluities, giving up our hearts to fear and serve the 
Lord, true unity may still be preserved amongst us. 
And that if such,- who were, at times, under suffer 
ings on account of some scruples of conscience, 
kept low and humble, and in their conduct in life 
manifested a spirit of true charity ; it would be more 
likely to reach the witness in others, and be of more 
service in the church, than if their sufferings were 
attended with a contrary spirit and conduct/ In 
which exercise I was drawn into a sympathizing 
tenderness with the sheep of Christ, however distin 
guished one from another in this world ; and the 
like disposition appeared to spread over others in 
the meeting. Great is the goodness of the Lord to 
wards his poor creatures. 

An epistle went forth from this yearly-meeting, 
which I think good to give a place in this journal ; 
being as follows : 


From the yearly meeting held at Philadelphia, for 
Pennsylvania and New Jersey, from the twenty- 
second day of the ninth month, to the twenty- 
eighth day of the same, inclusive, 1759. 

To the quarterly and monthly meetings of friends 
belonging to the said yearly meeting. 

Dearly beloved friends and brethren, 

ec IN an awful sense of the wisdom and goodness of 
the Lord our God, whose tender mercies have long 
been continued to us in this land, we affectionately 
salute you, with sincere and ferv 7 ent desires, that 
we may reverently regard the dispensations of his 
providence, and improve under them. 

" The empires and kingdoms of the earth are 
subject to his Almighty power. He is the God of 
the spirits of all flesh ; and deals with his people 
agreeable to that wisdom, the depth whereof is to 
us unsearchable. We, in these provinces may say, 
He hath, as a gracious and tender parent, dealt 
bountifully with us, even from the days of our fa 
thers. It was lie who strengthened them to labour 
through the difficulties attending the improvement 
of a wilderness, and made way for them in the 
hearts of the natives ; so that by them they were 
comforted in times of want and distress. It was 
by the gracious influences of his Holy Spirit, that 
they were disposed to work righteousness, and walk 
uprightly one towards another, and towards the 
natives, and in life and conversation to manifest 


the excellency of the principles and doctrines of 
the Christian religion ; and thereby they retain 
their esteem and friendship. Whilst they were la 
bouring for the necessaries of life, many of them 
were fervently engaged to promote piety and virtue 
in the earth, and educate their children in the fear 
of the Lord. 

ff If we carefully consider the peaceable measures 
pursued in the first settlement of the land, and that 
freedom from the desolations of wars, which for a 
longtime we enjoyed, we shall find ourselves under 
strong obligations to the Almighty, who, when the 
earth is so generally polluted with wickedness, gave 
us a being in a part so signally favoured with tran 
quillity and plenty, and in which the glad tidings 
of the gospel of Christ are so freely published, 
that we may justly say with the psalmist, fc What 
shall we render unto the Lord for all his benefits ?" 

" Our own real good, and the good of our pos 
terity in some measure depends on the part we act ; 
and it nearly concerns us to try our foundations 
impartially. Such are the different rewards of the 
just and unjust in a future state, that to attend 
diligently to the dictates of the spirit of Christ, to 
devote ourselves to his service, and engage fer 
vently in his cause, during our short stay in this 
world, is a choice well becoming a free intelligent 
creature. We shall thus clearly see and consider 
that the dealings of God with mankind in a na 
tional capacity, as recorded in holy writ, do suffi 
ciently evidence the truth of that saying, " It is 
righteousness which exalteth a nation ;" and though 


he cloth not at all times suddenly execute his judg 
ments on a sinful people in this life., yet we see by 
many instances, that where Cf men follow lying 
vanities,, they forsake their own mercies ;" and as 
a proud selfish spirit prevails and spreads among a 
people,, so partial judgment, oppression, discord, 
envy and confusions increase., and provinces and 
kingdoms are made to drink the cup of adversity 
as a reward of their own doings. Thus the in 
spired prophet, reasoning with the degenerated 
Jews, saith, c< Thine own wickedness shall correct 
thee, and thy backslid ings shall reprove thee : know 
therefore, that it is an evil thing and bitter, that 
thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my 
fear is not in thee., saith the Lord God of Hosts." 
Jer. ii. 19. 

" The God of our fathers who hath bestowed on 
us many benefits, furnished a table for us in the 
wilderness, and made the deserts and solitary 
places to rejoice ; He doth now mercifully call upon 
us to serve Him more faithfully We may truly say 
with the prophet, " It is his voice which crieth to 
the city, and men of wisdom see his name. They 
regard the rod, and Him who hath appointed it." 
People who look chiefly at things outward, too 
little consider the original cause of the present 
troubles ; but such who fear the Lord, and think 
often upon his name, they see and feel that a wrong 
spirit is spreading amongst the inhabitants of our 
country ; that the hearts of many are waxed fat, 
and their ears dull of hearing; that the Most High, 
in his visitations to us, instead of calling, lifteth 



up his voice and crieth ; He crieth to our country, 
and his voice waxeth louder and louder. In former 
wars between the English and other nations, since 
the settlement of our provinces, the calamities at 
tending- them have fallen chiefly on other places, 
but now of late they have reached to our borders ; 
many of our fellow subjects have suffered on and 
near our frontiers, some have been slain in battle, 
some killed in their houses, and some in their fields, 
some wounded and left in great misery, and others 
separated from their wives and little children, who 
have been carried captives among the Indians. We 
have seen men and women who have been witnesses 
of these scenes of sorrow, arid being reduced to 
want, have come to our houses asking relief. It 
is not long since it was the case of many young 
men in one of these provinces to be draughted, in 
order to be taken as soldiers ; some were at that 
time in great distress, and had occasion to consider 
that their lives had been too little conformable to 
the purity and spirituality of that religion which we 
profess, and found themselves too little acquainted 
with that inward humility, in which true fortitude 
to endure hardness for the truth s sake is experien 
ced. Many parents were concerned for their chil 
dren, and in that time of trial were led to consider 
that their care to get outward treasure for them, 
had been greater than their care for their settle 
ment in that religion which crucifieth to the world, 
and enableth to bear a clear testimony to the peace 
able government of the Messiah. These troubles 
are removed, and for a time we are released from 


" Let us not forget that The Most High hath 
his way in the deep, in clouds arid in thick dark 
ness that it is his voice which crieth to the city 
and to the country ; and oh ! that these loud and 
awakening cries, may have a proper effect upon us, 
that heavier chastisement may not become neces 
sary ! For, though things, as to the outward, may 
for a short time, afford a pleasing prospect ; yet, 
while a selfish spirit, that is not subject to the cross 
of Christ, continueth to spread and prevail, there 
can be no long continuance in outward peace and 
tranquillity. If we desire an inheritance incorrup 
tible, and to be at rest in that state of peace and 
happiness, which ever continues ; if we desire in 
this life to dwell under the favour and protection of 
that Almighty Being, whose habitation is in holi 
ness, whose ways are all equal, and whose anger is 
now kindled, because of our backslidings ; let us 
then awfully regard these beginnings of his sore 
judgments, and with abasement and humiliation 
turn to Him, whom we have offended. 

" Contending with one equal in strength, is an 
uneasy exercise ; but if the Lord is become our 
enemy, if we persist to contend with Him who is 
Omnipotent, our overthrow will be unavoidable. 

<c Do we feel an affectionate regard to posterity; 
and are we employed to promote their happiness? 
Do our minds, in things outward, look beyond our 
own dissolution ; and are we contriving for the 
prosperity of our children after us? Let us then, 
like wise builders, lay the foundation deep ; and 
by our constant uniform regard to an inward piety 

and virtue, let them see that we really value it. 
Let us labour in the fear of the Lord, that their 
innocent minds, while young and tender, may be 
preserved from corruptions ; that as they advance 
in age, they may rightly understand their true in 
terest, may consider the uncertainty of temporal 
things, and, above all, have their hope and confi 
dence firmly settled in the blessing of that Al 
mighty Being, who inhabits eternity, and preserves 
and supports the world. 

" In all our cares about worldly treasures, let us 
steadily bear in mind, that riches possessed by 
children, who do not truly serve God, are likely to 
prove snares that may more grievously entangle 
them in that spirit of selfishness and exaltation, 
which stands in opposition to real peace and hap 
piness ; and renders those, enemies to the cross of 
Christ, who submit to the influence of it. 

cc To keep a watchful eye towards real objects of 
charity, to visit the poor in their lonesome dwelling- 
places, to comfort them who, through the dispensa 
tions of Divine Providence, are in strait and pain 
ful circumstances in this life, and steadily to en 
deavour to honour God with our substance, from a 
real sense of the love of Christ influencing our 
minds thereto, is more likely to bring a blessing to 
our children, arid will afford more satisfaction to a 
Christian favoured with plenty, than an earnest 
desire to collect much wealth to leave behind us, 
for, fc here we have no continuing city ;" may we 
therefore diligently cc seek one that is to come., 
whose builder and maker is God." 


(( Finally, brethren, whatsoever thing s arc true, 
whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are 
pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever 
things are of good report ; if there be any virtue, 
if there be any praise, think on these things and do 
them, and the God of peace shall be with you/ 

Signed by appointment, and on behalf of our 
said. meeting, by seven friends. 

On the twenty-eighth day of the eleventh month, 
in the year 1759, I was at the quarterly-meeting in 
Bucks county. This day being the meeting of 
ministers and elders, my heart was enlarged in the 
love of Jesus Christ ; and the favour of the Most 
High was extended to us in that and the ensuing 

I had conversation, at my lodging, with my be 
loved friend Samuel Eastburn ; who expressed a 
concern to join in a visit to some friends, in that 
county, who had negroes ; and as I had felt a 
draught in my mind to that work in the said 
county, I came home and put things in order. On 
the eleventh day of the twelfth month following I 
went over the river ; and on the next day was at 
Buckingham meeting; where, through the descend- 
ings of heavenly dew, my mind was comforted, and 
drawn into a near unity with the flock of Jesus 

Entering upon this visit appeared weighty : and 
before I left home my mind \vas often sad ; under 
which exercise I felt, at times, the Holy Spirit which 
helps our infirmities ; through which, in private, 


my prayers were, at times, put up to God, that He 
would be pleased to purge me from all selfishness, 
that I might be strengthened to discharge my duty 
faithfully, how hard soever to the natural part. We 
proceeded on the visit in a weighty frame of spirit, 
and went to the houses of the most active members, 
throughout the county, who had negroes ; and, 
through the goodness of the Lord, my mind was 
preserved in resignation in times of trial, and though 
the work was hard to nature, yet through the 
strength of that love which is stronger than death,, 
tenderness of heart was often felt amongst us in 
our visits, and we parted from several families with 
greater satisfaction than we expected. 

We visited Joseph White s family, he being in 
England ; had also a family-sitting at the house of 
an elder who bore us company, and was at Make- 
field on a first day. At all which times, my heart was 
truly thankful to the Lord, who was graciously 
pleased to renew his loving kindness to us, his poor 
servants, uniting us together in his work. 

In the winter of this year, the small-pox being 
in our town, and many being inoculated, of whom 
a few died, some things were opened in my mind, 
which I wrote as follow : 

The more fully our lives are conformable to the 
will of God, the better it is for us I have looked 
on the small-pox as a messenger from the Almighty, 
to be an assistant in the cause of virtue, and to in 
cite us to consider whether we employ our time 
only in such things as are consistent with perfect 
wisdom and goodness. 


Building houses suitable to dwell in, for ourselves 
and our creatures ; preparing clothing suitable for 
the climate and season,, and food convenient, are 
all duties incumbent on us. And under these ge 
neral heads, are many branches of business, in 
which we may venture health and life, as necessity 
may require. 

This disease being in a house, and my business 
calling me to go near it, it incites me to think, 
whether this business is a real, indispensable, duty ; 
whether it is not in conformity to some custom, 
which would be better laid aside ; or, whether it 
does not proceed from too eager a pursuit after 
some outward treasure. If the business before me 
springs not from a clear understanding, and a re 
gard to that use of things which perfect wisdom 
approves; to be brought to a sense of it, and stop 
ped in my pursuit, is a kindness ; for when I pro 
ceed to business without some evidence of duty, I 
have found, by experience, that it tends to weak 

If I am so situated that there appears no pro 
bability of missing the infection, it tends to make 
me think, whether my manner of life, in things out 
ward, has nothing in it which may unfit my body 
to receive this messenger in a way the most favour 
able to me. Do I use food and drink in no other 
sort, and in no other degree, than was designed by 
Him, who gave these creatures for our sustenance ? 
Do I never abuse my body by inordinate labour, 
striving to accomplish some end which I have un 
wisely proposed? Do I use action enough in some 


useful employ I Or, do I sit too much idle, while 
some persons,, who labour to support me, have too 
great a share of it? If, in any of these things, I am 
deficient,, to be incited to consider it, is a favour to 

There is employ necessary in social life ; and this 
infection, which often proves mortal, incites me to 
think, whether these social acts of mine are real 
duties. If I go on a visit to the widows and father 
less, do I go purely on a principle of charity, free 
from any selfish views ? If I go to a religious meet 
ing, it puts me on thinking, whether I go in sin 
cerity and in a clear sense of duty ; or whether it is 
not partly in conformity to custom, or partly from 
a sensible delight which my animal spirits feel in 
the company of other people ; and whether to sup 
port my reputation as a religious man, has no share 
in it. 

Do affairs, relating to civil society, call me near 
this infection? If I go, it is at the hazard of my 
health and life ; and it becomes me to think se 
riously, whether love to truth, and righteousness is 
the motive of my attending ; whether the manner of 
proceeding, is altogether equitable; or whether 
aught of narrowness, party interest, respect to out 
ward dignities, names, or distinctions among men, 
do not stain the beauty of those assemblies, and 
render it doubtful, in point of duty, whether a dis 
ciple of Christ ought to attend as a member united 
to the body or not. 

Whenever there are blemishes, w r hich, for a series 
of time, remain such; that which is a means of 


stirring us up to look attentively on these blemishes,, 
and to labour according to our capacities, to have 
health and soundness restored in our country, we 
may justly account a kindness from our gracious 
Father, who appointed that means. 

The care of a wise and good man for his only 
son, is inferior to the regard of the great Parent of 
the universe for his creatures. He hath the com 
mand of all the powers and operations in nature; 
and " doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the 
children of men." Chastisement is intended for in 
struction, and instruction being received- by gentle 
chastisement, greater calamities are prevented. 

By an earthquake, hundreds of houses are some 
times shaken down in a few minutes, and multitudes 
of people perish suddenly; and many more being 
crushed and bruised in the ruins of the buildings, 
pine away and die in great misery. 

By the breaking in of enraged merciless armies, 
flourishing countries have been laid waste, and 
great numbers of people perished in a short time, 
and many more pressed with poverty and grief. 

By the pestilence, people have died so fast in a 
city, that through fear, grief, and confusion, those in 
health have found great difficulty in burying the 
dead, even without coffins. 

By famine, great numbers of people in some 
places, have been brought to the utmost distress, 
and pined away for want of the necessaries of life. 
Thus, where the kind invitations,, and gentle chas 
tisements, of a gracious God hath not been attended 


to, his sore judgments have, at times, been poured 
out upon people. 

While some rules, approved in civil society, and 
conformable to human policy, so called, are distin 
guishable from the purity of truth and righteous 
ness; while many professing truth are declining 
from that ardent love and heavenly-rnindedness, 
\vhich was amongst the primitive followers of Jesus 
Christ ; it is a time for us to attend diligently to the 
intent of every chastisement, and consider the most 
deep and inward design of them. 

The most High doth not often speak with an out- 
Avard voice to our outward ears; but, if we humbly 
meditate on his perfections, consider that He is per 
fect wisdom and goodness, and to afflict his crea 
tures to no purpose,, would be utterly reverse to his 
nature, we shall hear and understand his language, 
both in his gentle arid more heavy chastisements ; 
and take heed that we do not, in the wisdom of this 
world, endeavour to escape his hand by means too 
powerful for us. 

Had He endowed men with understanding to 
hinder the force of this disease, by innocent means^ 
which had never proved mortal nor hurtful to our 
bodies, such discovery might be considered as the 
period of chastisement by this distemper, where that 
knowledge extended. But as life and health are his 
gifts, and not to be disposed of in our own wills, to 
take upon us, when in health, a distemper, of which 
some die, requires great clearness of knowledge, 
that it is our duty to do so. 



His visit, in company with Samuel Eastburn, to 
Long Island, Rhode Island, Boston, fyc. in New 
England. Remarks on the slave trade at New 
port, and his exercise on that account; also on 
lotteries. Some observations on the island of 

HAVING, for some time past, felt a sympathy in 
my mind with friends eastward, I opened my con 
cern in our monthly meeting; and, obtaining a 
certificate, set forward on the seventeenth day of the 
fourth month, in the year 1760, joining in company, 
by a previous agreement, with my beloved friend 
Samuel Eastburn. We had meetings at Wood- 
bridge, Rahaway, and Plain field ; and were at their 
monthly meeting of ministers and elders in Rah 
away. We laboured under some discouragement ; 
but, through the invisible power of truth, our visit 
was made reviving to the lowly-minded, with whom 
I felt a near unity of spirit, being much reduced in 
my mind. We passed on, and visiled chief of the 
meetings on Long Island. It was my concern, from 
day to day, to say no more nor less than what the 
spirit of truth opened in me, being jealous over 
myself, lest I should speak any thing to make 
my testimony look agreeable to that mind in peo~- 

pie, which is not in pure obedience to the cross of 

The spring of the ministry was often low ; and,, 
through the subjecting power of truth, we were 
kept low with it ; and from place to place, such 
whose hearts were truly concerned for the cause of 
Christ, appeared to be comforted in our labours ; 
and, though it was in general a time of abasement 
of the creature, yet, through his goodness, who is 
a helper of the poor, we had some truly edifying 
seasons both in meetings, and in families where we 
tarried ; and sometimes found strength to labour 
earnestly with the unfaithful, especially with those, 
whose station in families, or in the society was such, 
that their example had a powerful tendency to open 
the way for others to go aside from the purity and 
soundness of the blessed truth. At Jericho, on 
Long Island, I wrote home as follows : 

24*/z of the kth month, 1760. 

" Dearly beloved wife, 

" WE are favoured with health ; have been at 
sundry meetings in East Jersey, and on this island. 
My mind hath been much in an inward, watchful 
frame, since I left thee, greatly desiring that our 
proceedings may be singly in the will of our hea 
venly Father. 

ff As the present appearance of things is not 
joyous, I have been much shut up from outward 
chearfulness, remembering that promise, fc Then 
shalt Ihou delight thyself in the Lord :" as this, 


from day to day, has been revived in my memory,, I 
have considered that his internal presence on our 
minds,, is a delight of all ethers the most pure ; and 
that the honest-hearted not only delight in this, but 
in the effect of it upon them. He who regards the 
helpless and distressed., and reveals his love to his 
children under affliction, they delight in beholding 
his benevolence,, and feeling divine charity moving 
upon them. Of this I may speak a little; for 
though since I left you, I have often found an en 
gaging love and affection towards thee and my 
daughter., and friends about home,, that going out 
at this time, when sickness is so great amongst you, 
is a trial upon me ; yet 1 often remember there are 
many widows and fatherless, many who have poor 
tutors, many who have evil examples before them, 
and many whose minds are in captivity, for whose 
sake my heart is, at times, moved with compassion; 
that 1 feel my mind resigned to leave you for a sea 
son, to exercise that gift which the Lord hath be 
stowed on me ; which, though small, compared 
with some, yet in this I rejoice, that I feel love un 
feigned towards my fellow creatures. I recommend 
you to the Almighty, who I trust cares for you; and 
under a sense of his heavenly love, remain, 

ff Thy loving husband, 

i( J. W. 
We crossed from the east end of Long Island to 
New London, about thirty miles, in a large open 
boat ; while we were out, the wind rising high, the 
waves several times beat over us, that to me it 

appeared dangerous; but my mind was, at that 
time, turned to Him, who made and governs the 
deep, and my life was resigned to Him : and as He 
was mercifully pleased to preserve us, I had fresh 
occasion to consider every day, as a day lent to me ; 
and felt a renewed engagement to devote my time, 
and all I had, to Him who gave it. 

We had five meetings in Narraganset ; and went 
thence to Newport on Rhode Island. Our gracious 
Father preserved us in an humble dependence on 
him through deep exercises, that were mortifying to 
the creaturely will. In several families in the 
country, where we lodged, I felt an engagement on 
my mind to have a conference with them in private, 
concerning their slaves ; and, through divine aid, I 
was favoured to give up thereto. Though in this 
concern, I appear singular from many, whose ser 
vice in travelling, i believe, is greater than mine ; 
I do not think hard of them for omitting it; I do not 
repine at having so unpleasant a task assigned me, 
but look with awfulness to Him, who appoints to 
his servants their respective employments, and is 
good to all who serve Him sincerely. 

We got to Newport in the evening ; and on the 
next day visited two sick persons, and had comfort 
able sittings with them ; and in the afternoon at 
tended the burial of a friend. 

The next day we were at meetings at Newport, in 
the forenoon and afternoon ; where the spring of the 
ministry was opened, and strength given to declare 
the Word of Life to the people. 


The next day we went on our journey ; but the 
great number of slaves in these parts, and the con 
tinuance of that trade from thence to Guinea., made 
deep impression on me ; and my cries were often 
put up to my heavenly Father in secret, that He 
would enable me to discharge my duty faithfully, 
in such way as He might be pleased to point out 
to me. 

We took Swansea, Freetown,, and Tanton, in our 
way to Boston ; where also we had a meeting ; our 
exercise was deep, and the love of truth prevailed, 
for which I bless the Lord. 

We went eastward about eighty miles beyond 
Boston, taking meetings, and were in a good degree 
preserved in an humble dependence on that arm 
which drew us out ; and, though we had some hard 
labour with the disobedient, laying things home and 
close to such as were stout against the truth ; yet, 
through the goodness of God, we had, at times, to 
partake of heavenly comfort with those who were 
meek, and were often favoured to part with friends 
in the nearness of true gospel fellowship. We re 
turned to Boston, and had another comfortable op 
portunity with friends there ; and thence rode back 
a day s journey eastward of Boston. Our guide 
being a heavy man, and the weather hot, and ray 
companion and I considering it, expressed our free 
dom to go on without him, to which he consented, 
and we respectfully took our leave of him ; this we 
did, as believing the journey would have been hard 
to him and his horse. 


We visited the meetings iu those parts, and were 
^measurably baptized into a feeling- of the state of 
the society ; and in bowedness of spirit went to the 
yearly meeting at Newport ; where I understood 
that a large number of slaves was imported from 
Africa into that town, and then on sale by a mem 
ber of our society. At this meeting we met with 
John Storer from England, Elizabeth Shipley, Ann 
Gaunt, Hannah Foster, and Mercy Redman, from 
our parts, all ministers of the gospel, of whose com 
pany I was glad. 

At this time my appetite failed, and I grew out 
wardly weak, and had a feeling of the condition of 
Habakkuk, as there expressed. tf When I heard, 
my belly trembled, my lips quivered, I trembled in 
myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble:" I 
had many cogitations, and was sorely distressed. 
And was desirous that friends might petition the 
legislature, to use their endeavours to discourage 
the future importation of slaves ; for I saw that this 
trade was a great evil, and tended to multiply 
troubles, and bring distresses on the people in those 
parts, for whose welfare my heart was deeply con 

But I perceived several difficulties in regard to 
petitioning; and such was the exercise of my mind, 
that I had thought of endeavouring to get an op 
portunity to speak a few words in the House of As 
sembly, then sitting in town. 

This exercise came upon me in the afternoon, on 
the second day of the yearly meeting, and going to 


bed, I got no sleep till my mind was wholly resigned 
therein; and in the morning I enquired of a friend 
how long the Assembly was likely to continue 
sitting; who told me, it was expected to be pro 
rogued that day or the next. 

As I was desirous to attend the business of the 
meeting, and perceived the Assembly were likely 
to depart before the business was over ; after con 
siderable exercise, humbly seeking to the Lord for 
instruction, my mind settled to attend on the busi 
ness of the meeting ; on the last day of which, 
I had prepared a short essay of a petition to be pre 
sented to the legislature, if way opened. And being 
informed that there were some appointed, by that 
yearly meeting, to speak with those in authority, in 
cases relating to the society, I opened my mind to 
several of them, and shewed them the essay I had 
made ; and afterwards opened the case in the meet 
ing for business, in substance as follows : 

(C I have been under a concern for some time, on 
account of the great number of slaves which are 
imported into this colony ; I am aware that it is a 
tender point to speak to, but apprehend I am not 
clear in the sight of heaven, without speaking to it. 
I have prepared an essay of a petition, if way open, 
to be presented to the legislature ; and what I have 
to propose to this meeting is, that some friends may 
be named to withdraw and look over it, and report 
whether they believe it suitable to be read in the 
meeting. If they should think well of reading it, 
it will remain for the meeting, after hearing it, to 
consider, whether to take any further notice of it, 



as a meeting or not." After a short conference 
some friends went out, and looking over it, ex^ 
pressed their willingness to have it read ; which 
being done, many expressed their unity with the 
proposal ; and some signified, that to have the 
subjects of the petition enlarged upon,, and to be 
signed out of meeting by such as were free, would 
be more suitable than to do it there. Though I 
expected at first, that if it was done it would be in 
that way ; yet such was the exercise of my mind,, 
that to move it in the hearing of friends when as 
sembled, appeared to me as a duty ; for my heart 
yearned towards the inhabitants of these parts ; 
believing that by this trade there had been an in 
crease of incjuietude amongst them, and a way 
made easy for the spreading of a spirit opposite to 
that meekness and humility, which is a sure resting 
place for the soul. And that the continuance of 
this trade, would not only render their healing more 
difficult, but increase their malady. 

Having thus far proceeded, I felt easy to leave 
the essay amongst friends, for them to proceed in 
it as they believed best. And now an exercise 
revived on my mind in relation to lotteries, which 
were common in those parts. I had once moved 
it in a former sitting of this meeting, when argu 
ments were used in favour of friends being held 
excused, who were only concerned in such lotteries 
as w r ere agreeable to law. And now on moving 
it again, it was opposed as before ; but the hearts 
of some solid friends appeared to be united to 
discourage the practice amongst their members; 


and the matter was zealously handled by some on 
both sides. In this debate it appeared very clear 
to me, that the spirit of lotteries was a spirit of 
selfishness, which tended to confusion and dark 
ness of understanding ; and that pleading for it in 
our meetings, set apart for the Lord s work, was 
not right ; and in the heat of zeal, I once made 
reply to what an ancient friend said, which when 
I sat down, I saw that my words were not enough 
seasoned with charity ; and after this, I spoke no 
more on the subject. At length a minute was 
made ; a copy of which was agreed to be sent to 
their several quarterly meetings, inciting friends to 
labour to discourage the practice amongst all pro 
fessing with us. 

Some time after this minute was made, I re 
maining uneasy with the manner of my speaking 
to the ancient friend, could not see my way clear 
to conceal my uneasiness, but was concerned that 
I might say nothing to weaken the cause in which 
I had laboured ; and then, after some close 
exercise and hearty repentance, for that I had not 
attended closely to the safe guide, I stood up, arid 
reciting the passage, acquainted friends, that 
though 1 dare not go from what I had said as 
to the matter, yet I was uneasy with the manner 
of my speaking, as believing milder language 
would have been better. As this was uttered 
in some degree of creaturely abasement, it ap 
peared to have a good savor amongst us, after a 
warm debate. 


The yearly meeting being now over, there yet 
remained on my mind a secret, though heavy 
exercise, in regard to some leading active members 
about Newport, being in the practice of slave- 
keeping. This I mentioned to two ancient friends, 
who came out of the country, and proposed to 
them, if way opened, to have some conversation 
with those friends. And thereupon, one of those 
country friends and I, consulted one of the most 
noted elders who had slaves ; arid he, in a respect 
ful manner, encouraged me to proceed to clear 
myself of what lay upon me. Now I had, near the 
beginning of the yearly meeting, a private con 
ference with this said elder and his wife, concerning 
theirs ; so that the way seemed clear to me, to 
advise with him about the manner of proceeding. 
I told him, I was free to have a conference with 
them all together in a private house ; or if he 
thought they would take it unkind to be asked to 
come together, and to be spoken with in the hear 
ing of one another, I was free to spend some time 
among them, and visit them all in their own houses, 
lie expressed his liking to the first proposal, not 
doubting their willingness to come together; and 
as I proposed a visit to only ministers, elders, and 
overseers ; he named some others, whom he de 
sired might be present also. And as a careful 
messenger was wanted to acquaint them in a pro 
per manner, he offered to go to all their houses to 
open the matter to them ; and did so. About the 
eighth hour the next morning, we met in the 


meeting-house chamber, and the last-mentioned 
country friend, also my companion, and John 
Storer, with us, when, after a short time of retire 
ment, 1 acquainted them with the steps I had taken 
in procuring that meeting, and opened the concern 
I was under, and so we proceeded to a free con 
ference upon the subject. My exercise was heavy, 
and I was deeply bowed in spirit before the Lord> 
who was pleased to favour with the seasoning 
virtue of truth, which wrought a tenderness amongst 
us ; and the subject was mutually handled in a 
calm and peaceable spirit. And, at length, feel 
ing my mind released from that burden which I 
had been under, I took my leave of them, in a 
good degree of satisfaction ; and by the tender 
ness they manifested in regard to the practice, 
and the concern several of them expressed in 
relation to the manner of disposing of their negroes 
after their decease, I believed that a good exer 
cise was spreading amongst them ; and I am 
humbly thankful to God, who supported my mind, 
and preserved rne in a good degree of resignation 
through these trials. 

Thou, who sometimes travellest in the work of 
the ministry, and art made very welcome by thy 
friends, seest many tokens of their satisfaction, in 
having thee for their guest. It is good for thee to 
dwell deep, that thou mayest feel and understand 
the spirits of people. It we believe truth points 
towards a conference on some subjects, in a private 
way, it is needful for us to take heed that their 
kindness, their freedom and affability, do not hinder 

us from the Lord s work. I have seen, that in the 
midst of kindness and smooth conduct,, to speak 
close and home to them who entertain us, on 
points that relate to their outward interest, is hard 
labour; and sometimes, when I have felt truth lead 
towards it, I have found myself disqualified by a 
superficial friendship ; and as the sense thereof 
hath abased me, and my cries have been to the 
Lord, so I have been humbled and made content 
to appear weak, or as a fool for his sake ; and thus 
a door hath opened to enter upon it. To attempt 
to do the Lord s work in our own way, and to 
speak of that which is the burden of the word, in a 
way easy to the natural part, doth not reach the 
bottom of the disorder. To see the failings of our 
friends, and think hard of them, without opening 
that which we ought to open, and still carry a face 
of friendship, this tends to undermine the foundation 
of true unity. 

The office of a minister of Christ is weighty. 
And they who now go forth as watchmen, had need 
to be steadily on their guard against the snares of 
prosperity, and an outside friendship. 

After the yearly meeting, we were at meetings 
at Newtown, Cushaet, Long Plain, Rochester, and 
Dartmouth. From thence we sailed for Nautucket, 
in company with Ann Gaunt, Mercy Redman, and 
several other friends. The wind being slack, we 
only reached Tarpawling Cove the first day ; 
where, going on shore, we found room in a public- 
house, and beds for a few of us, the rest sleeping 
on the floor. We went on board again about 


break of day ; and though the wind was small, we 
were favoured to corue within about four miles of 
Nantucket ; and then about ten of us getting into 
our boat, we rowed to the harbour before dark ; 
whereupon a large boat going off, brought in the 
rest of the passengers about midnight. The next 
day but one was their yearly meeting, which held 
four days ; the last of which was their monthly 
meeting for business. We had a laborious time 
amongst them ; our minds were closely exercised, 
and I believe it was a time of great searching of 
heart. The longer I was on the island, the more I 
became sensible that there was a considerable num 
ber of valuable friends there, though an evil spirit, 
tending to strife, had been at work amongst them. 
I was cautious of making any visits, but as my 
in hid was particularly drawn to them ; and in that 
way we had some sittings in friends houses, where 
the heavenly wing was, at times, spread over us, to 
our mutual comfort. 

My beloved companion had very acceptable ser 
vice on this island. 

When meeting was over, we all agreed to sail 
the next day, if the weather was suitable and we 
well ; and being called up the latter part of the 
night, we went on b^ard a vessel, being in all 
about tifty ; but the wind changing, the seamen 
thought best to stay in the harbour till it altered ; 
so we returned on shore. And feeling clear as to 
any further visits, I spent my time in our chamber 
chiefly alone ; and after some hours, my heart 
being iilled with the spirit of supplication, rny 


prayers and tears were poured out before my 
heavenly Father, for his help and instruction in 
the manifold difficulties which attended me in life. 
And while I was waiting* upon the Lord, there came 
a messenger from the women friends, who lodged 
at another house, desiring to confer with us about 
appointing a meeting, which to me appeared 
weighty, as we had been at so many before ; but 
after a short conference, and advising with some 
elderly friends, a meeting was appointed, in which 
the friend, who first moved it, and who had been 
much shut up before, was largely opened in the love 
of the gospel : and the next morning, about break 
of day, going again on board the vessel, we reached 
Falmouth on the Main before night, where our 
horses being brought, we proceeded towards Sand 
wich quarterly meeting. 

Being two days in going to Nantucket, and 
having been there once before, I observed many 
shoals in their bay, which make sailing more dan 
gerous, especially in stormy nights ; also, that a 
great shoal, which encloses their harbour, prevents 
their going in with sloops, except when the tide is 
up ; waiting without which, for the rising of the 
tide, is sometimes hazardous in storms : waiting 
within, they sometimes miss a fair wind. I took 
notice, that on that small island was a great num 
ber of inhabitants, and the soil not very fertile ; 
the timber so gone, that for vessels, fences, and 
firewood, they depend chiefly on the buying from 
the Main ; the cost whereof, with most of their 
other expenses, they depend principally upon the 


whale fishery to answer. I considered,, that as 
towns grew larger,, and lands near navigable 
waters more cleared, timber and wood would re 
quire more labour to get it. I understood that 
the whales being much hunted, and sometimes 
wounded and not killed, grew more shy and diffi 
cult to come at. I considered that the formation 
of the earth, the seas, the islands, bays, and rivers, 
the motions of the winds, and great waters, which 
cause bars and shoals in particular places, were all 
the works of Him who is perfect wisdom and good 
ness ; and as people attend to his heavenly in 
struction, and put their trust in Him, He provides 
for them in all parts, where He gives them a being. 
And as in this visit to these people, I felt a strong 
desire for their firm establishment on the sure 
foundation ; besides what was said more publicly, 
I was concerned to speak with the women friends, 
in their monthly meeting of business, many being 
present ; and in the fresh spring of pure love, to 
open before them the advantage, both inward and 
outward, of attending singly to the pure guidance 
of the Holy Spirit, and therein to educate their 
children in true humility, and the disuse of all 
superfluities, reminding (hem of the difficulties 
their husbands and sons were frequently exposed 
to at sea; and that the more plain and simple their 
way of living was, the less need of running great 
hazards to support them in it; encouraging the 
young women in their neat decent way of attend 
ing themselves on the affairs of the house ; shewing*, 
as the way opened; that where people were "truly 


humble, used themselves to business, and were 
content with a plain way of life,, that it had ever 
been attended with more true peace and calmness 
of mind,, than they have had, who, aspiring to 
greatness and outward show, have grasped hard 
for an income to support themselves in it. And 
as I observed, they had few or no slaves amongst 
them, I had to encourage them to be content 
without them ; making mention of the numerous 
troubles and vexations, which frequently attended 
the minds of people, who depend on slaves to do 
their labour. 

We attended the quarterly meeting at Sand 
wich, in company with Ann Gaunt and Mercy 
Redman, which was preceded by a monthly meet 
ing; and in the whole held three days. We were 
various ways exercised amongst them,, in gospel- 
love, according to the several gifts bestowed on us; 
and were, at times overshadowed with the virtue 
of truth, to the comfort of the sincere, and stirring 
up of the negligent. Here we parted with Ann 
and Mercy, and went to Rhode Island, taking one 
meeting in our way, which was a satisfactory time; 
and reaching Newport the evening before their 
quarterly meeting, we attended it ; and after that, 
had a meeting with our young people, separated 
from those cf other societies. We went through 
much labour in this town ; and now, in taking 
leave of it, though I felt close inward exercise to 
the last, 1 found inward peace ; and was in some 
degree comforted, in a belief, that a good number 
remain in that place, who retain a sense of truth ; 


and,, that there are some young people attentive 
to the voice of the heavenly Shepherd. The last 
meeting,, in which friends from the several parts of 
the quarter came together, was a select meeting ; 
and through the renewed manifestation of the 
Father s love, the hearts of the sincere were united 

The poverty of spirit and inward weakness, with 
which I was much tried the forepart of this journey, 
has of late appeared to me as a dispensation of 
kindness. Appointing meetings, never appeared 
more weighty to me ; and 1 was led into a deep 
search, whether in all things my mind was resigned 
to the will of God ; often querying with myself, 
what should be the cause of such inward poverty ; 
and greatly desired, that no secret reserve in my 
heart might hinder my access to the divine foun 
tain. In these humbling times I was made watchful, 
and excited to attend to the secret movings of the 
heavenly principle in my mind, which prepared the 
way to some duties, that in more easy and prosper 
ous times as to the outward, I believe I should have, 
been in danger of omitting. 

From Newport we went to Greenwich, Shariticut, 
and Warwick ; and were helped to labour amongst 
friends in the love of our gracious Redeemer. 
And then, accompanied by our friend John Casey 
from Newport, we rode through Connecticut to 
Oblong, visited the meetings of friends in those 
parts, and thence proceeded to the quarterly meet^ 
ing at Ryewoods; and, through the gracious ex- 
tendings of divine help, had some seasoning oppor* 


tunities in those places. So we visited friends at 
New York and Flushing ; and thence to Rahaway. 
Here our roads parting, I took leave of my 
beloved companion and true yokemate Samuel 
Eastburn ; and reached home on the tenth day of 
the eighth month, 1760,, where I found my family 
well. And for the favours and protection of the 
Lord, both inward and outward, extended to me in 
this journey, my heart is humbled in grateful ac 
knowledgments ; and I find renewed desires to dwell 
and walk in resignedness before Him. 



His visits to Pennsylvania, Shrewsbury and Squan. 
His publishing the second part of his Consi 
derations on keeping Negroes. The grounds of 
his appearing in some respects singular in his 
dress. His visiting the families of friends of 
Ancocas and Mount Holly meetings. His visits 
to the Indians at Wehaloosing on the river Sus- 

HAVING felt my mind drawn toward a visit to a 
few meetings in Pennsylvania,, I was very desirous 
to be rightly instructed as to the time of setting off. 
And on the tenth day of the fifth month, 1761, being 
the first day of the week, I went to Haddonfield 
meeting, concluding to seek for heavenly instruc 
tion, and come home or go on, as I might then be 
lieve best for me ; and there through the springing 
up of pure love, I felt encouragement, and so crossed 
the river. . In this visit I was at two quarterly and 
three monthly meetings; and, in the love of truth, 
felt my way open to labour with some noted friends, 
who kept negroes. And as I was favoured to keep 
to the root, and endeavour to discharge what I 
believed was required of me, I found inward peace 
therein, from time to time ; and thankfulness of 
heart to the Lord, who was graciously pleased to be 
a guide to me. 


In the eighth month, 1761, having felt drawings 
in my mind to visit friends in and about Shrews 
bury ; I went there,, and was at their monthly meet 
ing, and their first-day meeting; and had a meeting 
at Squan, and another at Squanquam ; and, as 
way opened, had conversation with some noted 
friends concerning their slaves. And I returned 
home in a thankful sense of the goodness of the 

From the care I felt growing in me some years, 
I wrote Considerations on keeping Negroes, part 
the second ; which was printed this year, 1762. 
When the overseers of the press had done wiih it, 
they offered to get a number printed, to be paid for 
out of the yearly meeting stock, and to be given 
away ; but I being most easy to publish them at 
my own expense, and offering my reasons, they ap 
peared satisfied. 

This stock is the contribution of the members of 
our religious society in general ; amongst whom are 
some who keep negroes, and being inclined to con 
tinue them in slavery, are not likely to be satisfied 
with those books being spread amongst a people 
where many of the slaves are taught to read, and 
especially not at their expense ; and such, often re 
ceiving them as a gift, conceal them. But as they 
who make a purchase, generally buy that which 
they have a mind for, I believed it best to sell 
them ; expecting, by that means, they would more 
generally be read with attention. Advertisements 
being signed by order of the overseers of the press, 
directed to be read in monthly meetings of business 



within our own yearly meeting, informing where 
the books were,, and that the price was no more 
than the cost of printing and binding them; many 
were taken off in our parts ; some I sent to Virginia, 
some to New York, and some to Newport,, to my 
acquaintance there, and some I kept,, expecting to 
give part of them away,, where there appeared a 
prospect of service. 

In my youth I was used to hard labour; and 
though I was middling healthy, yet my nature was 
not fitted to endure so much as many others. That 
being often weary, I was prepared to sympathize 
with those whose circumstances in life, as free men, 
required constant labour to answer the demands of 
their creditors ; and with others under oppression. 
In the uneasiness of body, which I have many times 
felt by too much labour, not as a forced but a 
voluntary oppression,, I have often been excited to 
think on the original cause of that oppression, 
which i s imposed on many in the world. And the 
latter part of the time wherein I laboured on our 
plantation, my heart, through the fresh visitations 
of heavenly love, being often tender ; and my leisure 
time frequently spent in reading the life and doc 
trines of our blessed Redeemer, the account of the 
sufferings of martyrs, and the history of the first rise 
of our society ; a belief was gradually settled in 
my mind, that if such as had great estates, gene 
rally lived in that humility and plainness which 
belong to a Christian life, and laid much easier 
rents and interests on their lands and monies, and 
thus led the way to a right use of things, so great a 



number of people might be employed in things use 
ful, that labour both for men and other creatures 
would need to be no more than an agreeable em 
ploy ; and divers branches of business, which serve 
chiefly to please the natural inclinations of our minds, 
and which,, at present, seem necessary to circulate 
that wealth which some gather, might, in this way 
of pure wisdom, be discontinued. And as I have 
thus considered these things, a query, at times, hath 
arisen. Do I, in all my proceedings, keep to that 
use of things which is agreeable to universal 
righteousness ? And then there hath some degree 
of sadness, at times, come over me ; for that I ac 
customed myself to some things, which occasioned 
more labour than I believe divine wisdom intends 
for us. 

Prorn my early acquaintance with truth, I have 
often felt an inward distress, occasioned by the 
striving of a spirit in me, against the operation of 
the heavenly principle; and in this circumstance 
have been affected with a sense of rny own wretch 
edness, and in a mourning condition felt earnest 
longing for that divine help, which brings the soul 
into true liberty ; and sometimes in this state, re 
tiring into private places, the spirit of supplication 
hath been given me ; and under an heavenly cover 
ing, I have asked my gracious Father, to give me 
a heart in all things resigned to the direction of his 
wisdom, and in uttering language like this, the 
thoughts of my wearing hats and garments dyed 
with a dye hurtful to them, have made lasting im 
pressions on me. 


In visiting people of note in the society who ha4 
slaves, and labouring with them in brotherly love 
on that account,, I have seen, and the sight has af 
fected me, that a conformity to some customs, dis 
tinguishable from pure wisdom, has entangled, 
many ; and the desire of gain to support these cus 
toms, greatly opposed the work of truth. And some* 
times when the prospect of the work before me has 
been such, that in bowedness of spirit, I have 
been drawn into retired places, and besought the 
Lord with tears that he would take me wholly 
under his direction, and show me the way in which 
I ought to walk ; it hath revived with strength of 
conviction, that if I would be his faithful servant, I 
must in all things attend to his wisdonr, and be 
teachable ; and so cease from all customs contrary 
thereto, however used amongst religious people. 

As He is the perfection of power, of wisdom, and 
of goodness ; so I believe, he hath provided, that 
so much labour shall be necessary for men s sup 
port in this world, as would, being rightly divided, 
be a suitable employment of their time ; and that 
we cannot go into superfluities, or grasp after wealth 
in a way contrary to his wisdom, without having 
connexion with some degree of oppression, and 
with that spirit which leads to self-exaltation and 
strife, and which frequently brings calamities on 
countries, by parties contending about their claims. 

Being thus fully convinced, and feeling an in 
creasing desire to live in the spirit of peace ; being 
often sorrowfully affected with thinking on the un 
quiet spirit in which wars are generally carried on, 


and with the miseries of many of my fellow crea 
tures engaged therein; some suddenly destroyed ; 
some wounded, and after much pain remaining crip 
ples ; some deprived of all their outward substance, 
and reduced to want; and some carried into capti 
vity : thinking often on these things, the use of 
hats and garments dyed with a dye hurtful to them, 
and wearing more clothes in summer than are use 
ful, grew more uneasy to me ; believing them to be 
customs which have not their foundation in pure 
wisdom. The apprehension of being singular from 
my beloved friends, was a strait upon me ; and thus 
I remained in the use of some things contrary to 
my judgment. 

On the thirty-first day of the fifth month, 1761, I 
was taken ill of a fever ; and, after having it near a 
week, 1 was in great distress of body : and one day 
there was a cry raised in me,, that I might under 
stand the cause why I was afflicted, and improve 
under it : and my conformity to some customs, 
which I believed were not right, was brought to my 
remembrance ; and in the continuance of the exer 
cise, I felt all the powers in me yield themselves up 
into the hands of Him who gave me being ; and 
was made thankful, that He had taken hold of me by 
his chastisement; feeling the necessity of further 
purifying, there was now no desire in me for health, 
until the design of my correction was answered ; 
and thus I lay in abasement and brokenness of 
spirit, and as 1 felt a sinking down into a calm re 
signation, so I felt, as in an instant, an inward heal 
ing* in my nature ; and from that time forward I 
grew better. 


Though I was thus settled in mind in relation to 
hurtful dyes, I felt easy to wear my garments here 
tofore made ; and so continued about nine months* 
Then I thought of getting a hat the natural colour 
of the fur ; but the apprehension of being looked 
upon as one affecting singularity,, felt uneasy to me: 
and here I had occasion to consider, that things, 
though small in themselves, being clearly enjoined 
by divine authority, become great things to us; 
and I trusted that the Lord would support me in 
the trials that might attend singularity, while that 
singularity was only for his sake. On this account, 
I was under close exercise of mind in the time of 
our general spring meeting 1762, greatly desiring 
to be rightly directed ; when being deeply bowed 
in spirit before the Lord, I was made willing to 
submit to what I apprehended was required of me ; 
and when I returned home, got a hat of the natural 
colour of the fur. 

In attending meetings, this singularity was a trial 
upon me, and more especially at this time, white 
hats being used by some who were fond of follow 
ing the changeable modes of dress ; and as some 
friends, who knew not on what motives I wore it, 
carried shy of me, I felt my way for a time shut up 
in the exercise of the ministry. In this condi 
tion, my mind being turned toward my heavenly 
Father, with fervent cries that I might be preserved 
to walk before Him in the meekness of wisdom, my 
heart was often tender in meetings ; and I felt an 
inward consolation, which to me was very precious 
under those difficulties. 


I had several dyed garments fit for use, which I 
believed it best to wear,, till I had occasion for new 
ones : and some friends were apprehensive, that my 
wearing such a hat savoured of an affected singu 
larity : and such who spake with me in a friendly 
way, I generally informed in a few words, that I 
believed my wearing it, was not in my own will, I 
had, at times, been sensible, that a superficial friend 
ship had been dangerous to me ; and many friends 
being now uneasy with me, I had an inclination to 
acquaint some with the manner of my being led 
into these things; yet, upon a deeper thought, I 
was for a time most easy to omit it, believing the 
present dispensation was profitable ; and trusting, 
that if I kept my place, the Lord in his own time 
would open the hearts of friends "toward me : since 
which, I have had cause to admire his goodness and 
loving kindness, in leading about and instructing, 
and opening and enlarging my heart in some of our 

In the eleventh month of the year 1762, feeling 
an engagement of mind to visit some families in 
Mansfield, I joined my beloved friend Benjamin 
Jones, and we spent a few days together in that 
service. In the second month, 1763, I joined in 
company with Elizabeth Smith and Mary Noble, 
on a visit to the families of friends at Ancocas ; in 
both which visits, through the baptizing power of 
truth, the sincere labourers were often comforted, 
and the hearts of friends opened to receive us. And 
in the fourth month following, I accompanied some 
friends in a visit to the families of friends in Mount 


Holly ; in which my mind was often drawn into an 
inward awfulness, wherein strong desires were raised 
for the everlasting welfare of my fellow-creatures ; 
and, through the kindness of our heavenly Father, 
our hearts were, at times enlarged, and friends in 
vited, in the flowings of divine love, to attend to that 
which would settle them on the sure foundation. 

Having many years felt love in my heart towards 
the natives of this land, who dwell far back in the 
wilderness, whose ancestors were the owners and 
possessors of the land where we dwell ; and who, 
for a small consideration, assigned their inheritance 
to us : and being at Philadelphia in the eighth 
month, 1761, on a visit to some friends who had 
slaves, I fell in company with some of those natives 
who lived on the east branch of the river Susque- 
hannah, at an Indian town called Wehaloosing, two 
hundred miles from Philadelphia ; and in conver 
sation with them by an interpreter, as also by ob?- 
servations on their countenances and conduct, I 
believed some of them were measurably acquainted 
with that divine power which subjects the rough 
and fro ward will of the creature. At times, I 
felt inward drawings toward a visit to that place of 
which I told none except my dear wife, until it 
came to some ripeness, and then in the winter of 
1762, I laid it before friends at our monthly and 
quarterly, and afterwards at our general spring 
meeting ; and having the unity of friends, and 
being thoughtful about an Indian pilot, there came 
a man and three women from a little beyond that 
town to Philadelphia on business : and I being in* 


formed thereof by letter, met them in town in the 
fifth month, 1763; and after some conversation, 
finding they were sober people, I, by the concur 
rence of friends in that place, agreed to join with 
them as companions in their return ; and on the 
seventh day of the sixth month following, we ap 
pointed to meet at Samuel Foulk s, at Ri?hland in 
Bucks county. Now as this visit felt weighty, and 
was performed at a time when travelling appeared 
perilous, so the dispensations of Divine Providence, 
in preparing my mind for it, have been memorable ; 
and I believe it good for me to give some hints 

After I had given up to go, the thoughts of the 
journey were often attended with unusual sad 
ness ; in which times, my heart was frequently 
turned to the Lord with inward breathings for his 
heavenly support, that I might not fail to follow 
him wheresoever He might lead me : and being at 
our youth s meeting at Chesterfield, about a week 
before the time I expected to set off, was there led 
to speak on that prayer of our Redeemer to his Fa 
ther : " I pray not that thou shouldest take them 
out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them 
from the evil/ And in attending to the pure open 
ings of truth, had to mention what He elsewhere 
said to his Father ; ec I know that thou nearest me 
at all times :" so that, as some of his followers kept 
their places, and as his prayer was granted, it fol 
lowed necessarily that they were kept from evil : 
and as some of those met with great hardships and 
afflictions in this world, and at last suffered death 


by cruel men ; it appears, that whatsoever befalls 
men while they live in pure obedience to God, as it 
certainly works for their good, so it may not be 
considered an evil as it relates to them. As I spake 
on this subject, rny heart was much tendered, and 
great awfulness came over me ; and then, on the 
first day of the next week, being at our own after 
noon meeting, and my heart being enlarged in love, 
I was led to speak on the care and protection of 
the Lord over his people, and to make mention of 
that passage where a band of Assyrians endeavour 
ing to take captive the prophet, were disappointed; 
and how the psalmist said, (C the angel of the Lord 
encampeth round about them that fear Him/ and 
thus, in true love and tenderness, I parted from 
friends, expecting the next morning to proceed on. 
my journey ; and being weary went early to bed. 
After I had been asleep a short time, I was 
awoke by a man calling at my door ; and aris 
ing, was invited to meet some friends at a public- 
house in our town, who came from Philadelphia 
so late, that friends were generally gone to bed. 
These friends informed me, that an express arrived 
the last morning from Pittsburg, and brought news 
that the Indians had taken a fort from the English 
westward, and had slain and scalped English people 
in divers places, some near the said Pittsburg ; and 
that some elderly friends in Philadelphia, knowing 
the time of my expecting to set off, had conferred 
together, and thought good to inform me of these 
things, before I left home, that I might consider 
them, and proceed as I believed best; so 1^ going 


ag&in to bed,, told not my wife till morning. My 
heart was turned to the Lord for his heavenly in 
struction ; and it was an humbling time to me. 
When I told my dear wife, she appeared to be 
deeply concerned about it ; but in a few hours time, 
my mind became settled in a belief, that it was my 
duty to proceed on my journey ; and she bore it 
with a good degree of resignation, In this conflict 
of spirit, there were great searchings of heart, and 
strong cries to the Lord, that no motion might be 
in the least degree attended to, but that of the pure 
spirit of truth. 

The subjects before-mentioned, on which I had 
so lately spoken in public, were now very fresh be 
fore me ; and I was brought inwardly to commit 
myself to the Lord, to be disposed of as He saw 
best. So I took leave of my family and neigh 
bours, in much bowedness of spirit, and went to our 
monthly meeting at Burlington ; and after taking 
leave of friends there, I crossed the river, accompa 
nied by my friends Israel and John Pemberton ; 
arid parting the next morning with Israel, John 
bore me company to Samuel Poulk s ; where I met 
the before-mentioned Indians, and we were glad to 
see each other. Here my friend Benjamin Parvin 
inet me, and proposed joining as a companion, we 
^having passed some letters before on the subject ; 
and now on his account I had a sharp trial ; for as 
the journey appeared perilous, I thought if he went 
chiefly to bear me company, and we should be 
taken captive, my having been the means of draw- 
ing.him into these difficulties., would add to my own 


afflictions: so I told him my mind freely, and let 
him know that I was resigned to go alone; but 
after all, if he really believed it to be his duty to go 
on,, I believed his company would be very comfort 
able to me. It was indeed a time of deep exercise, 
and Benjamin appeared to be so fastened to the 
visit, that he could not be easy to leave me; so we 
went on, accompanied by our friends John Pem- 
berton, and William Lightfoot of Pikeland, and 
lodged at Bethlehem ; and there parting with John, 
William and we went forward on the ninth day of 
the sixth month, and got lodging on the floor of a 
house, about five miles from Fort Allen. Here we 
parted with William : and at this place we met with 
an Indian trader, lately come from Wioming ; and 
in conversation with him I perceived that many 
white people do often sell rum to the Indians, which 
I believe, is a great evil ; first, they being thereby 
deprived of the use of their reason, and their spirits 
violently agitated, quarrels often arise which end in 
mischief; and the bitterness and resentment occa 
sioned hereby, are frequently of long continuance : 
again, their skins and furs, gotten through much 
fatigue and hard travels in hunting, with which 
they intended to buy clothing, when they become 
intoxicated, they often sell at a low rate for more 
rum ; and afterward, when they suffer for want of 
the necessaries of life, are angry with those who, 
for the sake of gain, took the advantage of their 
weakness : of this their chiefs have often com 
plained, at their treaties with the English. Where 
cunning people pass counterfeits, and impose that 


on others which is good for nothing, it is considered 
as a wickedness ; but to sell that to people which 
we know does them harm, and which often works 
their ruin, for the sake of gain, manifests a hardened 
and corrupt heart ; and is an evil, which demands 
the care of all true lovers of virtue to suppress. 
While my mind this evening, was thus employed, I 
also remembered, that the people on the frontiers, 
among whom this evil is too common, are often 
poor ; who venture to the outside of a colony, that 
they may live more independent on such as are 
wealthy, who often set high rents on their land : 
being renewedly confirmed in a belief, that if all 
our inhabitants lived according to sound wisdom, 
labouring tq.promote universal love and righteous 
ness, and ceased from every inordinate desire after 
wealth, and from all customs which are tinctured 
with luxury, the way would be easy for our inhabi 
tants, though much more numerous than at present, 
to live comfortably on honest employments, without 
having that temptation they are often under, of 
being drawn into schemes to make settlements on 
lands which have not been purchased of the Indians, 
or of applying to that wicked practice of selling 
rum to them. 

On the tenth day of the month we set out early 
in the morning, and crossed the western branch of 
Delaware, called the Great Lehie near Fort Allen ; 
the water being high, we went over in a canoe. 
Here we met an Indian, and had some friendly con 
versation with him, and gave him some biscuit ; 
and he having killed a deer, gave the Indians with 


us some of it. Then after travelling some miles, we 
met several Indian men and women with a cow and 
horse, and some household goods, who were lately 
come from their dwelling at Wioming, and going 
to settle at another place; we made them some 
small presents ; and some of them understanding 
English, I told them rriy motive in coming into their 
country ; with which they appeared satisfied : and 
one of our guides talking awhile with an ancient 
woman concerning us, the poor old woman came 
to my companion and me, and took her leave of us 
with an appearance of sincere affection. So going 
on, we pitched our tent near the banks of the same 
river, having laboured hard in crossing some of 
those mountains called the Blue Ridge, and by the 
roughness of the stones, and the cavities between 
them, and the steepness of the hills it appeared dan 
gerous. But we were preserved in safety, through 
the kindness of Him whose works in these moun 
tainous deserts appeared awful,, toward whom rny 
heart was turned during this day s travel. 

Near our tent, on the sides of large trees peeled 
for that purpose, were various representations of 
men going to, and returning from the wars, and of 
some killed in battle. This being a path hereto 
fore used by warriors ; and as I walked about view 
ing those Indian histories, which were painted 
mostly in red, but some in black; and thinking on 
the innumerable afflictions which the proud, fierce, 
spirit produceth in the world ; thinking on the toils 
and fatigues of warriors, travelling over mountains 
and deserts ; thinking on their miseries and distresses 


when wounded far from home, by their enemies ; 
and of their bruises and great weariness in chasing 
one another over the rocks and mountains ; and of 
their restless, unquiet state of mind,, who live in this 
spirit, and of the hatred which mutually grows up 
in the minds of the children of those nations engaged 
in war with each other : during these meditations, 
the desire to cherish the spirit of love and peace 
amongst these people arose very fresh in me. This 
was the first night that we lodged in the woods ; and 
being wet with travelling in the rain, the ground, 
our tent, and the bushes which we purposed to lay 
under our blankets also wet, all looked discourag 
ing ; but I believed, that it was the Lord who had 
thus far brought me forward, and that He would dis 
pose of me as He saw good, and therein I felt easy. 
So we kindled a fire, with our tent open to it ; and 
with some bushes next the ground, and then our 
blankets, we made our bed, and lying down got 
some sleep ; and in the morning, feeling a little un 
well, I went into the river ; the water was cold, but 
soon after 1 felt fresh and well. 

The eleventh day of the sixth month, the bushes 
being wet, we tarried in our tent, till about eight 
o clock ; when going on, crossed a high mountain 
supposed to be upward of four miles over, the steep 
ness on the north side exceeding all the others ; we 
also crossed two swamps, and it raining near night,, 
we pitched our tent and lodged. 

About noon, on our way, we were overtaken by 
one of the Moravian brethren, going to Wehaloosing, 
and an Indian man with him, who could talk 


English, and we being together while our horses ate 
grass, had some friendly conversation ; but they 
travelling faster than we, soon left us. This Mo 
ravian, I understood, had spent some time, this 
spring at Wehaioosing ; arid was, by some of the 
Indians, invited to come again. 

The twelfth day of the sixth month, and first of 
the week, it being a rainy day, we continued in our 
tent ; and here I was led to think on the nature of 
the exercise which hath attended me. Love was 
the first motion, and thence a concern arose to 
spend some time with the Indians, that I might feel 
and understand their life, and the spirit they live in, 
if haply I might receive some instruction from 
them ; or they be in any degree helped forward by 
my following the leadings of truth amongst them. 
And as it pleased the Lord to make way for my 
going at a time when the troubles of war were in 
creasing, and when, by reason of much wet wea 
ther, travelling was more difficult than usual at that 
season, I looked upon it as a more favourable op 
portunity to season my mind, and bring me into a 
nearer sympathy with them. And as mine eye was 
to the great Father of mercies, liurnbly desiring to 
learn what his will was concerning me, I was made 
quiet and content. 

Our guide s horse, though hoppled, went away 
in the night ; and after finding our own, and search 
ing some time for him, his footsteps were discovered 
in the path going back again, whereupon my kind 
companion went off in the rain, and after about 
seven hours returned with him. And here we 


lodged again ; tying up our horses before we went 
to bed, and loosing them to feed about break of 

On the thirteenth day of the sixth month,, the 
sun appearing, we set forward ; and as I rode over 
the barren hills, my meditations were on the alter 
ations of the circumstances of the natives of this 
land since the coming in of the English. The lands 
near the sea, are conveniently situated for fishing ; 
the lands near the rivers, where the tides flow, and 
some above, are in many places fertile, and not 
mountainous ; while the running of the tides, makes 
passing up and down easy with any kind of traffick. 
Those natives have, in some places, for trifling con 
siderations, sold their inheritance so favourably 
situated ; and in other places, been driven back by 
superior force. So that, in many places, as their 
way of clothing themselves is now altered from 
what it was, and they, far remote from us, have to 
pass over mountains, swamps, and barren deserts, 
where travelling is very troublesome, in bringing 
their skins and furs to trade with us. 

By the extending of English settlements, and 
partly by English hunters, the wild beasts they 
chiefly depend upon for a subsistence, are not so 
plentiful as they were ; and people too often, for the 
sake of gain, open a door for them to waste their 
skins and furs, in purchasing a liquor which tends 
to the ruin of them and their families. 

My own will and desires were now very much 
broken, and my heart, with much earnestness, 
turned to the Lord, to whom alone I looked for 


help in the dangers before me. I had a prospect 
of the English along the coast, for upwards of nine 
hundred miles, where I have travelled ; and the 
favourable situation of the English, and the diffi 
culties attending the natives in many places, and 
the negroes, were open before me ; and a weighty 
arid heavenly care came over my mind, and love 
filled my heart toward all mankind., in which I felt 
a strong engagement, that we might be obedient to 
the Lord, while in tender mercies, he is yet calling 
to us ; and so attend to pure universal righteous 
ness, as to give no just cause of offence to the Gen 
tiles, who do not profess Christianity, whether the 
blacks from Africa or the native inhabitants of this 
continent. Here I was led into a close, laborious 
enquiry, whether I, as an individual, kept clear 
from all things which tended to stir up, or were 
connected with wars, either in this land or Africa; 
and my heart was deeply concerned, that in future 
I might in all things keep steadily to the pure truth, 
and live and walk in the plainness and simplicity 
of a sincere follower of Christ. And in this lonely 
journey I did, this day, greatly bewail the spread 
ing of a wrong spirit, believing that fche prospe 
rous,, convenient situation of the English, requires a 
constant attention to divine love and wisdom to 
guide and support us, in a way answerable to the 
will of that good, gracious, and almighty Being, 
who hath an equal regard to all mankind. And 
here luxury and covetousness, with the numerous 
oppressions, arid other evils, attending them, ap 
peared very afflicting to me; and 1 felt in that 


which is immutable,, that the seeds of great calamity 
and desolation are sown and growing fast on this 
continent. Nor have I words sufficient to set forth 
that longing I then felt, that we, who are placed 
along the coast, and have tasted the love and 
goodness of God, might arise in his strength ; and 
like faithful messengers, labour to check the growth 
of these seeds, that they may not ripen to the ruin 
of our posterity. 

We reached the Indian settlement at Wioming : 
and here we were told, that an Indian runner had 
been at that place a day or two before us, and 
brought news of the Indians taking an English fort 
westward, and destroying the people, and that they 
were endeavouring to take another ; and also, that 
another Indian runner came there about the middle 
of the night before we got there, who came from a 
town about ten miles fromWehaloosirig,and brought 
news, that some Indian warriors, from distant parts, 
came to that town with two English scalps, and 
told the people that it was war with the English. 

Our guides took us to the house of a very ancient 
man ; and, soon after we had put in our baggage, 
there came a man from another Indian house some 
distance off; and I, perceiving there was a man 
near the door, went out ; and he having a toma 
hawk wrapped under his matchcoat out of sight, as 
I approached him, he took it in his hand ; I, how 
ever, went forward, and speaking to him in a 
friendly way perceived he understood some English. 
My companion then coming out, we had some talk 
with him concerning the nature of our visit in these 


parts ; and then lie going into the house with us, 
and talking with our guides, soon appeared friendly, 
and sat down and smoked his pipe. Though his 
taking his hatchet in his hand at the instant I drew 
near to him, had a disagreeable appearance, I be 
lieve he had no other intent than to be in readiness 
in case any violence was offered to him. 

Hearing the news brought by these Indian run 
ners, and being told by the Indians where we 
lodged, that what Indians were about Wioming 
expected in a few days to move to some larger 
towns, I thought that, to all outward appearance, 
it was dangerous travelling at this time ; and was, 
after a hard day s journey, brought into a painful 
exercise at night, in which I had to trace back and 
view over the steps I had taken from my first 
moving in the visit; and though I had to bewail 
some weakness which at times had attended me, 
yet I could not find that I had ever given way to a 
wilful disobedience ; and then as I believed I had, 
under a sense of duty, come thus far, I was now 
earnest in spirit, beseeching the Lord to show me 
what I ought to do. In this great distress I grew 
jealous of myself, lest the desire of reputation, as 
a man firmly settled to persevere through dangers, 
or the fear of disgrace arising on my returning 
without performing the visit, might have some place 
in me. Thus I lay, full of thoughts, great part of the 
night, while my beloved companion lay and slept 
by me, till the Lord, my gracious Father, who saw 
the conflicts of my soul, was pleased to give quiet 
ness : then I was again strengthened to commit my 


life, and all things relating thereto., into his heavenly 
hands ; and getting a little sleep toward day,, when 
morning came, we arose. 

On the fourteenth day of the sixth month,, we 
sought out and visited all the Indians hereabouts 
that we could meet with, they being chiefly in one 
place, about a mile from where we lodged, in all 
perhaps twenty. Here I expressed the care I had 
on my mind for their good, and told them, that 
true love had made me willing thus to leave my 
family to come and see the Indians, and speak with 
them in their houses. Some of them appeared 
kind and friendly. So we took our leave of these 
Indians, and went up the river Susquehannah, about 
three miles, to the house of an Indian, called Jacob 
January, who had killed his hog; and the women 
were making store of bread, and preparing to move 
up the river. Here our pilots left their canoe when 
they came down in the spring, which, lying dry, was 
leaky ; so that we, being detained some hours, had 
a good deal of friendly conversation with the family; 
and eating dinner with them, we made them some 
small presents : then putting our baggage in the 
canoe, some of them pushed slowly up the stream, 
and the rest of us rode our horses ; and swimming 
them over a creek, called Lahawahamunk, we 
pitched our tent above it, there being a shower in 
the evening. In a sense of God s goodness in help 
ing me in my distress, sustaining me under trials, 
and inclining my heart to trust in Him, I lay down 
in an humble bowed frame of mind, and had a 
comfortable night s lodging. 


On the fifteenth day of the sixth month, we pro 
ceeded forward till the afternoon,, when a storm 
appearing*, we met our canoe at an appointed place, 
and we staid all night, the rain continuing so heavy 
that it beat through our tent, and wet us and our 

c5O O 

On the sixteenth day, we found on our way 
abundance of trees blown down by the storm yes 
terday ; and had occasion reverently to consider the 
kind dealings of the Lord, who provided a safe 
place for us in a valley while this storrn continued. 
By the falling of abundance of trees across our path, 
we were much hindered, and in some swamps our 
way was so stopped that we got through with ex 
treme difficulty. 

I had this day often to consider myself as a 
sojourner in this world ; and a belief in the all- 
sufficiency of God to support his people in their 
pilgrimage, felt comfortable to me ; and I was 
industriously employed to get to a state of perfect 

We seldom saw our canoe but at appointed 
places, by reason of the path going off from the 
river: and this afternoon, Job Chilaway, an Indian 
from Wehaloosing, who talks good English, and is 
acquainted with several people in and about Phila 
delphia, met our people on the river ; and under 
standing where we expected to lodge, pushed back 
about six miles, and came to us after night ; and in 
a while our own canoe came, it being hard work 
pushing up the stream. Job told us, that an Indian 
came in haste to their town yesterday, and tpld 


thorn,, 1hat three vvarriors coining from some dis 
tance, lodged in a town above Wehaloosing, a 
few nights past ; ami that these three men were 
going against the English at Juniata. Job was 
going down the river to the province-store at 
Shunokin. Though I was so far favoured with 
health as to continue travelling, yet, through the 
various difficulties in our journey, and the different 
way of living from what I had been used to,, I grew 
sick : and the news of these warriors being on their 
march so near us, and not knowing whether we 
might not fall in with them, was a fresh trial of my 
faith ; and though through the strength of divine 
love, I had several times been enabled to commit 
myself to the divine disposal, I still found the want 
of my strength to be renewed, that I might per 
severe therein ; and my cries for help were put up 
to the Lord, who, in great mercy gave me a re 
signed heart, in which I found quietness. 

On the seventeenth day, parting from Job Chil- 
away, we went on, and reached Wehaloosing about 
the middle of the afternoon. The first Indian that 
we saw, vvas a woman of a modest countenance, 
with a Bible, who first spake to our guide ; and 
then, with an harmonious voice, expressed her 
gladness at seeing us, having before heard of our 
corning : then, by the direction of our guide, we 
sat down on a log, and he went to the town, to tell 
the people w r e were come. My companion and I 
sitting thus together, in a deep inward stillness, the 
poor woman came and sat near us ; and great awful- 
ness coming over us, we rejoiced in a sense of God s 


love manifested to our poor souls. After a while, we 
heard a conkshell blow several times, arid then came 
John Curtis, and another Indian man, who kindly 
invited us into a house near the town, where we 
found, I suppose, about sixty people sitting in 
silence. After sitting a short time, I stood up, 
and in some tenderness of spirit acquainted them 
with the nature of my visit, and that a concern for 
their good had made me willing to come thus far to 
see them : all in a few short sentences, which some 
of them understanding, interpreted to the others, 
and there appeared gladness amongst them. Then 
I shewed them my certificate, which was explained 
to them; and the Moravian who overtook us on 
the way, being now here, bid me welcome. 

On the eighteenth day, we rested ourselves this 
forenoon ; and the Indians knowing that the Mora 
vian and I were of different religious societies, and 
as some of their people had encouraged him to 
come and stay a while with them, were, I believe, 
concerned, that no jarring or discord might be in 
their meetings : and they, I suppose, having con 
ferred together, acquainted me, that the people, at 
my request, would, at any time, come together, and 
hold meetings; and also told me, that they expected 
the Moravian would speak in their settled meetings, 
which are commonly held morning and near even 
ing. So I found liberty in my heart to speak to the 
Moravian, and told him of the care I felt on my 
mind for the good of these people ; and that I 
believed no ill effects would follow it, if I sometimes 
spake in their meetings \\hen love engaged me 


thereto, without calling them together at times when 
they did not meet of course. Whereupon he ex 
pressed his good -will toward my speaking at any 
time, all that I found in my heart to say ; so, near 
evening, I was at their meeting, where the pure 
gospel love was felt, to the tendering of some of our 
hearts ; and the interpreters endeavouring to ac 
quaint the people with what I said, in short sen 
tences, found some difficulty, as none of them were 
quite perfect in the English and Delaware tongues, 
so they helped one another, and we laboured along, 
divine love attending. Afterwards feeling my 
mind covered with the spirit of prayer, I told the 
interpreters that I found it in my heart to pray to 
God, and believed, if I prayed aright, He would hear 
me ; and expressed my willingness for them to omit 
interpreting ; so our meeting ended with a degree of 
divine love : and before the people went out, I ob 
served Papunehang (the man who had been zealous 
in labouring for a reformation in that town, being 
then very tender) spoke to one of the interpreters ; 
and I was afterwards told that he said in substance as 
follows: " I love to feel where words come from. * 
On the nineteenth day, and first of the week, this 
morning, in the meeting, the Indian who came with 
the Moravian, being also a member of that society, 
prayed ; and then the Moravian spake a short time 
to the people. In the afternoon they coming together, 
and my heart being filled with a heavenly care for 
their good, I spake to them awhile by interpreters; 
but none of them being perfect in the work, and I 
feeling the current of love run strong, told the in- 


terpreters, that I believed some of the people would 
understand me, and so I proceeded; in which exercise 
I believe the Holy Ghost wrought on some hearts 
to edification where all the words were not under 
stood. I looked upon it as a time of divine favour, 
and my heart was tendered and truly thankful 
before the Lord ; and after I sat down, one of the 
interpreters seemed spirited to give the Indians the 
substance of what I had said. 

Before our first meeting this morning, I was led 
to meditate on the manifold difficulties of these 
Indians,, who, by the permission of the Six Nations, 
dwell in these parts ; and a near sympathy with 
them was raised in me ; and my heart being en 
larged in the love of Christ, I thought that the 
affectionate care of a good man for his only brother 
in affliction, does not exceed what I then felt for that 

I carne to this place through much trouble ; and 
though, through the mercies of God, I believed 
that if I died in the journey, it would be well with 
me; yet, the thoughts of falling into the hands of 
Indian warriors, were, in times of weakness, afflict 
ing to me ; and being of a tender constitution of 
body, the thoughts of captivity amongst them were, 
at times, grievous ; as supposing that they, being 
strong and hardy, might demand service of me 
beyond what I could well bear ; but the Lord alone 
was my keeper ; and I believed, if I went into cap 
tivity, it would be for some good end ; and thus, 
from time to time, my mind was centered in re 
signation, in which 1 always found quietness. And 


now, this day, though I had the same dangerous 
wilderness between me and home, I was inwardly 
joyful that the Lord had strengthened me to come 
on this visit, and manifested a fatherly care over me 
in my poor lowly condition, when in mine own eyes 
I appeared inferior to many amongst the Indians. 

When the last-mentioned meeting was ended, it 
being night,, Papunehang went to bed ; and one of 
the interpreters sitting by me, I observed Papune 
hang spake with an harmonious voice, I suppose, 
a minute or two : and, asking the interpreter, was 
told, that f{ he was expressing his thankfulness to 
God for the favours he had received that day ; and 
prayed that He would continue to favour Him with 
that same, which he had experienced in that meet- 
ing." Though Papunehang before agreed to re 
ceive the Moravian, and join with them, he still 
appeared kind and loving to us. 

On the twentieth day, I was at two meetings, and 
silent in them. 

The twenty-first day. This morning, in meeting, 
my heart was enlarged in pure love amongst them, 
and in short plain sentences, I expressed several 
things that rested upon me, which one of the in 
terpreters gave the people pretty readily ; after 
which the meeting ended in supplication, and I had 
cause humbly to acknowledge the loving-kindness 
of the Lord towards us ; and then 1 believed that a 
door remained open for the faithful disciples of 
Jesus Christ, to labour amongst these people. 

I now feeling my mind at liberty to return, took 
my leaye of them in general, at the conclusion of 


what I said in meeting* ; and so we prepared to go 
homeward. But some of their most active men told 
us that when we were ready to move, the people 
would choose to come and shake hands with us ; 
which those who usually came to meeting did. 
And from a secret draught in my mind, I went 
amongst some who did not use to go to meeting, 
and took my leave of them also: and the Moravian 
and his Indian interpreter, appeared respectful to 
us at parting. This town stands on the bank of 
the Susquehannah, and consists, I believe, of about 
forty houses, mostly compact together; some about 
thirty feet long, and eighteen wide, some bigger, 
some less ; mostly built of split plank, one end set 
in the ground, and the other pinned to a plate, on 
which lay rafters, and covered with bark. I under 
stand a great flood last winter overflowed the chief 
part of the ground where the town stands; and 
some were now about moving their houses to higher 

o o 


We expected only two Indians to be our com 
pany, but when we were ready to go, we found 
many of them were going to Bethlehem with skins 
and furs, who chose to go in company with us. 
So they loaded two canoes which they desired us 
to go in, telling us, that the waters were so raised 
with the rains, that the horses should be taken by 
such as were better acquainted with the fording 
places. So we, with several Indians, went in the 
canoes,, and others \vent on horses, there being- 
seven besides ours; and we meeting with the 
horsemen once on the way by appointment, and 


then near night, a little below a branch called 
Tankhannah, we lodged there ; and some of the 
young men going out a little before dusk with their 
guns,, brought in a deer. 

On the twenty-second day, through diligence, we 
reached Wioming before night, and understood the 
Indians were mostly gone from this place. Here 
we went up a small creek into the woods with our 
canoes, and pitching our tent, carried out our bag 
gage; and before dark our horses came to us. 

On the twenty-third day in the morning their 
horses were loaded, and we prepared our baggage 
and so set forward, being in all fourteen ; and with 
diligent travelling, were favoured to get near half 
way to Fort Alien. The land on this road from 
Wioming to our frontier being mostly poor, and 
good grass, scarce, they chose apiece of low ground 
to lodge on, as the best for grazing; and I having 
sweat much in travelling, and being weary, slept 
sound ; I perceived in the night that I had taken 
cold, of which I was favoured to get better soon. 

On the twenty-fourth day we passed Fort Allen, 
and lodged near it in the woods. 

We forded the westerly branch of Delaware 
three times, and thereby had a shorter way, and 
missed going over the top of the blue mountains, 
called the Second Ridge. In the second time ford 
ing, where the river cuts through the mountain, the 
waters being rapid and pretty deep, and rny com 
panion s mare being a tall tractable animal, he 
sundry times drove her back through the river, and 
they loaded her with the burdens of some small 


horses, which they thought not sufficient to come 
through with their loads. 

The troubles westward, and the difficulty for 
Indians to pass through our frontier, I apprehend 
was one reason why so many came, as expecting 
that our being in company, would prevent the out 
side inhabitants from being surprized. 

On the twenty-fifth day we reached Bethlehem, 
taking care on the way to keep foremost, and to 
acquaint people on and near the road who these 
Indians were. This we found very needful ; for the 
frontier inhabitants were often alarmed at the report 
of English being killed by Indians westward. 

Amongst our company were some whom I did 
not remember to have seen at meeting, arid some 
of these at first were very reserved; but we being 
several days together, and behaving friendly to 
wards them, and making them suitable returns for 
the services they did us, they became more free and 

On the twenty-sixth day and first of the week, 
having carefully endeavoured to settle all affairs 
with the Indians relative to our journey, we took 
leave of them, and I thought they generally parted 
with us affectionately ; so we getting to Richland, 
had a very comfortable meeting amongst our 
friends. Here I parted with my kind friend and 
companion Benjamin Parvin ; and accompanied 
by my friend Samuel Foulk, we rode to John Cad- 
wallader s, from whence I reached home the next 
day, where I found my family middling well ; and 
they and my friends all along appeared glad to 


see me return from a journey which they appre 
hended dangerous ; but my mind, while I was out, 
had been so employed in striving for a perfect resig 
nation, and I had so often been confirmed in a belief, 
that whatever the Lord might be pleased to allot 
for me, would work for good ; I was careful lest I 
should admit any degree of selfishness in being glad 
overmuch, and laboured to improve by those trials 
in such a manner as my gracious Father and Pro 
tector intends for me. Between the English inha 
bitants and Wehaloosing, we had only a narrow 
path, which in many places is much grown up with 
bushes, and interrupted by abundance of trees lyi rig- 
across it, these, together with the mountains, 
swamps, and rough stones, make it a difficult road 
to travel ; and the more so, for that rattlesnakes 
abound there, of which we killed four. That peo 
ple who have never been in such places, have but 
an imperfect idea of them ; but I was not only 
taught patience, but also made thankful to God, 
who thus led me about and instructed me, that I 
might have a quick and lively feeling of the atHic- 
tions of my fellow-creatures, whose situation in life 
is difficult. 



His religious conversation with a company met to 
see the tricks of a jugler. His account of John 
Smith s advice, and of the proceedings of a com 
mittee, at the yearly meeting in 1764. Contem 
plations on the nature of true wisdom, occasioned 
by hearing of the cruelty of the Indians to their 
captives. His visiting the families of friends at 
Mount Holly, Mansfield, and Burlington, in 
1764, and the meetings on the Sea coast from 
Cape May towards Squan in 1765. FJis visit to 
the lower counties on Delaware, and the eastern 
shore of Maryland in 1166, in company with John 
Sleeper; with some account of Joseph Nichols and 
his followers ; and observations on the different 
state of the first settlers in Pennsylvania who de 
pended on their ozvn labour, and those of the south 
ern provinces who kept negroes. His visiting the 
northern parts of New Jersey the same year, and 
the western parts of Maryland and Pennsylvania 
in 1161, and afterwards other parts of Pennsyl 
vania and the families of friends at Mount Holly; 
and again several parts of Maryland in 1768. 
Further Considerations on keeping Slaves; and 
his concern for having formerly, as an executor, 
been party to the sale of one; and what he did 
in consequence of it. Thoughts on friends exer 
cising offices in civil government. 

THE latter part of the summer, 1763, there came 
a man to Mount Holly, who had before published 

. 174 

by a printed advertisement, that at a certain public- 
house, he would show many wonderful operations, 
which he therein enumerated. 

This man, at the time appointed, did, by slight 
of hand, sundry things; which,, to those gathered, 
appeared strange. 

The next day, I hearing of it, and understanding 
that the show was to be continued the next night, 
and the people to meet about sunset, felt an exer 
cise on that account. So I went to the public- 
house in the evening, and told the man of the house 
that I had an inclination to spend a part of the 
evening there; with which he signified that he was 
content. Then sitting down by the door, I spoke 
to the people as they came together, concerning 
this show ; and more corning and sitting down with 
us, the seats at the door were mostly filled ; and I 
had conversation with them in the fear of the Lord, 
and laboured to convince them that thus assembling 
to see those tricks or slights of hand, and bestowing 
their money to support men who in that capacity 
were of no use in the world, was contrary to the 
nature of the Christian religion. 

There was one of the company who, for a time, 
endeavoured by arguments to show the reasonable 
ness of their proceedings herein ; but after consider 
ing some texts of scripture, and calmly debating the 
matter, he gave up the point. So having spent 
about an hour amongst them, and feeling my mind 
easy, I departed. 

At our yearly meeting at Philadelphia, on the 
twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, 1764, John 


Smith of Marlborough, aged upwards of eighty 
years, a faithful minister, though not eloquent, 
stood up in our meeting of ministers and elders, 
and appearing to be under a great exercise of spirit, 
informed friends in substance as follows : to wit, 
ce That he had been a member of our society up 
wards of sixty years, and well remembered that in 
those early times friends were a plain lowly-minded 
people ; and that there was much tenderness and 
contrition in their meetings. That at twenty years 
from that time, the society increasing in wealth, 
and in some degree conforming to the fashions of 
the world, true humility was less apparent, and 
their meetings in general not so lively and edifying. 
That at the end of forty years, many of them were 
grown very rich ; that wearing fine costly gar 
ments, and using silver (and other) watches, be 
came customary with them, their sons and their 
daughters, and many of the society made a specious 
appearance in the world ; which marks of outward 
wealth and greatness, appeared on some in our 
meetings of ministers and elders ; and as these 
things became more prevalent, so the powerful 
overshadowings of the Holy Ghost were less mani 
fest in the Society. That there had been a con 
tinued increase of these ways of life even until now; 
and that the weakness which hath now overspread 
the society, and the barrenness manifest amongst 
us, is matter of much sorrow." He then mentioned 
the uncertainty of his attending these meetings in 
future, expecting his dissolution was now near; and 
having tenderly expressed his concern for us, signified 


that he had seen in the true light, that the Lord 
would bring back his people from these things into 
which they were thus degenerated,, but that his 
faithful servants must first go through great and 
heavy exercises therein. 

On the twenty-ninth day, the committee ap 
pointed by the yearly meeting to visit the quarterly 
and monthly meetings, gave an account in writing 
of their proceedings in that service ; in which they 
signified, that in the course of it, they had been appre 
hensive that some persons holding offices in govern 
ment, inconsistent with our principles ; and others 
who kept slaves, remaining active members in our 
meetings for discipline, had been one means of weak 
ness more and more prevailing in the management 
thereof in some places. After this report was read, 
an exercise revived on my mind, which, at times, 
had attended me several years, and inward cries to 
the Lord were raised in me, that the fear of man 
might not prevent me from doing what he required 
of me ; and standing up, I spoke in substance as 
follows: " I have felt a tenderness in my mind 
towards persons, in two circumstances mentioned 
in that report ; that is, towards such active members 
who keep slaves, and such who hold offices in civil 
government ; and have desired, that friends in all 
their conduct may be kindly affectioned one toward 
another. Many friends, who keep slaves, are under 
some exercise on that account ; and at times, think 
about trying them with freedom ; but find many 
things in their way. And the way of living, and 
annual expenses of some of them are such, that it 


seems impracticable for them to set their slaves 
free,, without changing their own way of life. It 
has been my lot to be often abroad : and I have 
observed in some places, at quarterly and yearly 
meetings, and at some houses where travelling 
friends and their horses are often entertained,, that 
the yearly expense of individuals therein is very 
considerable. And friends in some places crowding 
much on persons in these circumstances for enter 
tainment, hath often rested as a burden on my mind 
for some years past ; and I now express it in the 
fear of the Lord, greatly desiring that friends now 
present may duly consider it." 

In the fall of this year, having hired a man to 
work, I perceived in conversation that he had been 
a soldier in the late war on this continent ; and in 
the evening, giving a narrative of his captivity 
amongst the Indians, he informed me that he saw 
two of his fellow captives tortured to death in a very 
cruel manner. 

This relation affected me with sadness, under 
which I went to bed; and the next morning, soon 
after I awoke, a fresh arid living sense of divine 
love was spread over my mind ; in which I had a 
renewed prospect of the nature of that wisdom from 
above, which leads to a right use of all gifts, both 
spiritual and temporal, and gives content therein. 
Under a feeling thereof, I wrote as follows : 

" Hath He, who gave me a being attended with 
many wants unknown to brute creatures, given rne 
a capacity superior to theirs ? and shown me that a 
moderate application to business is proper to my 



present condition ; and that this, attended with his 
blessing, may supply all outward wants,, while they 
remain within the bounds He hath fixed ; and that 
no imaginary wants proceeding from an evil spirit, 
should have any place in me? Attend then, O my 
soul! to this pure wisdom, as thy sure conductor 
through the manifold dangers in this world ! 

f< Doth pride lead to vanity ? Doth vanity form 
imaginary wants? Do these wants prompt men to 
exert their power in requiring thai of others, which 
themselves would rather be excused from, were the 
same required of them ? 

"Do those proceedings beget hard thoughts? 
Do hard thoughts, when ripe, become malice ? 
Does malice, when ripe, become revengeful ; and 
in the end inflict terrible pains on their fellow-crea 
tures, and spread desolations in the world ? 

" Do mankind, walking in uprightness, delight 
in each other s happiness ? And do these creatures, 
capable of this attainment, by giving way to an evil 
spirit, employ their wit and strength to afflict and 
destroy one another? 

" Remember then/ O my soul ! the quietude of 
those in whom Christ governs, and in ail thy pro 
ceedings feel after it ! 

(c Doth He condescend to bless thee with his pre 
sence ? To move and influence to action ? To 
dwell in thee, and walk in thee? Remember then 
thy station, as a being sacred to God. Accept of the 
strength freely offered thee ; and take heed that no 
weakness, in conforming to expensive, unwise, and 
hard-hearted customs, gendering to discord and 


strife, be given way to. Doth He claim my body as 
his temple, and graciously grant that 1 may be 
sacred to Him ? Oh ! that I may prize this favour ; 
and that my whole life may be conformable to this 
character ! 

" Remember, O my soul ! that the prince of peace 
is thy Lord ; that He communicates his unmixed 
wisdom to his family ; that they,, living in perfect 
simplicity, may give no just cause of offence to any 
creature, but may walk as He walked !" 

Having felt an openness in my heart toward visit 
ing families in our own meeting, and especially in 
the town of Mount Holly, the place of my abode, I 
mentioned it in our monthly meeting the forepart 
of the winter 1764; which being agreed to, and se 
veral friends of our meeting being united in the 
exercise, we proceeded therein ; and through divine 
favour were helped in the work, so that it appeared 
to me as a fresh reviving of godly care amongst 
friends; and the latter part of the same winter, I 
joined my friend William Jones, in a visit to 
friends families in Mansfield ; in which labour, I 
had cause to admire the goodness of the Lord to 
ward us. 

Having felt my mind drawn toward a visit to 
friends along the sea-coast from Cape May to near 
Squan ; and also to visit some people in those parts, 
amongst whom there is no settled worship; I joined 
with my beloved friend Benjamin Jones, in a visit 
there, having friends unity therein. And setting off 
the twenty-fourth day of the tenth month, 1765, we 
had a prosperous and very satisfactory journey ; 

M 2 


feeling at times,, through the goodness of the hea 
venly Shepherd, the gospel to flow freely toward a 
poor people scattered in those places. And soon 
after our return, I joined my friends John Sleeper 
and Elizabeth Smith, in visiting friends families at 
Burlington, there being at this time about fifty 
families of our society in that city ; and we had 
cause humbly to adore our heavenly Father, who 
baptized us into a feeling of the state of the people, 
and strengthened us to labour in true gospel love 
amongst them. 

An exercise having, at times, for several years 
attended me, in regard to paying a religious visit to 
friends on the Eastern Shore of Maryland ; such 
was the nature of this exercise, that 1 believed the 
Lord moved me to travel on foot amongst them, 
that by so travelling I might have a more lively 
feeling of the condition of the oppressed slaves, set 
an example of lowliness before the eyes of their 
masters, and be more out of the way of temptation 
to unprofitable converse. 

The time now drawing near in which I believed 
it my duty to lay my concern before our monthly 
meeting, I perceived in conversation with my be 
loved friend John Sleeper, that he was under a con 
cern to travel the same way, and also to travel on 
foot in the form of a servant amongst them, as he 
expressed it, This he told me before he knew aught 
of my exercise. 

We being thus drawn the same way, laid our 
exercise and the nature of it before friends ; and 
obtaining certificates, we set off the sixth day of 


the fifth month, 1766 ; and were at meetings with 
friends at Wilmington, Duck Creek, Little Creek 
and Motherkill ; my heart being sundry times ten 
dered under the divine influence., and enlarged in 
love toward the people amongst whom we travelled. 

From Motherkill, we crossed the country about 
thirty-five miles to friends at Tuckahoe in Mary 
land, and had a meeting there and at Marshy 

At these, our three last meetings, were a consi 
derable number of people, followers of one Joseph 
Nichols, a preacher ; who, I understand, is not in 
outward fellowship with any religious society of 
people, but professeth nearly the same principles as 
our society doth, and often travels up and down 
appointing meetings, to which many people come. 
1 heard some friends speaking of some of their 
neighbours, who had been irreligious people, that 
were now his followers, and were become sober, 
well-behaved men and women. 

Some irregularities, I hear, have been amongst 
the people at several of his meetings ; but from the 
whole of what I have perceived, I believe the man 
and some of his followers, are honestly disposed, 
but that skilful fathers are wanting among them. 
From hence we went to Choptank and Third Ha 
ven ; and thence to Queen Anne s. The weather 
having some days past been hot and dry, and we 
to attend meetings pursuant to appointment, 
having travelled prelty steadily, and had hard labour 
in meetings, I grew weakly ; at which I was for a 
time discouraged ; but looking over our journey, 


and thinking how the Lord had supported our 
minds and bodies, so that we got forward much 
faster than I expected before we came out, I now 
saw that I had been in danger of too strongly de 
siring to get soon through the journey, and that 
this bodily weakness now attending me was a kind 
ness to me ; and then, in contrition of spirit, I be 
came very thankful to my gracious Father, for this 
manifestation of his love ; and in humble submis 
sion to his will, my trust was renewed in Him. 

On this part of our journey, I had many thoughts 
on the different circumstances of friends who inhabit 
Pennsylvania and Jersey, from those who dwell in 
Maryland,, Virginia, and Carolina. Pennsylvania 
and New Jersey were settled by many friends, who 
were convinced of our principles in England in 
times of sufferings, and coming over, bought lands 
of the natives, and applied themselves to husbandry 
in a peaceable way; and many of their children 
were taught to labour for their living. 

Few friends, I believe, came from England to 
settle in any of these southern provinces ; but by 
the faithful labours of travelling friends in early 
times, there were considerable convincements a- 
mongst the inhabitants of these parts. Here I re 
membered my reading of the warlike disposition of 
many of the first settlers in those provinces, and of 
their numerous engagements with the natives, in 
which much blood was shed, even in the infancy 
of those colonies. These people, inhabiting those 
places, being grounded in customs contrary to the 
pure truth, when some of them were affected with 


the powerful preaching- of the Word of Life, and 
joined in fellowship with our society, they had a 
great work to go through. It is observable in the 
History of the Reformation from Popery, that it 
had a gradual progress from age to age. The up 
rightness of the first reformers, in attending to the 
light and understanding given them, opened the 
way for sincere-hearted people to proceed further 
afterward ; and thus each one truly fearing God, 
and labouring in those works of righteousness ap 
pointed for him in his day, findeth acceptance with 
him. Though, through the darkness of the times, 
and the corruption of manners and customs, some 
upright men may have had little more for their day s 
work than to attend to the righteous principle in 
their minds, as it related to their own conduct in life, 
without pointing out to others the whole extent of 
that, which the same principle would lead succeed 
ing ages into. Thus, for instance, amongst an im 
perious warlike people, supported by oppressed 
slaves, some of these masters, I suppose, are awak 
ened to feel and see their error ; and, through sin 
cere repentance, cease from oppression, and become 
like fathers to their servants ; showing, by their 
example, a pattern of humility in living, and mode 
ration in governing, for the instruction and admo 
nition of their oppressing neighbours ; these with 
out carrying the reformation further, I believe have 
found acceptance with the Lord. Such was the 
beginning ; and those who succeeded them, and 
have faithfully attended to the nature and spirit of 
the reformation, have seen the necessity of proceed- 


ing forward ; have not only to instruct others, by 
their example, in governing well, but also to use 
means to prevent their successors from having so 
much power to oppress others. 

Here I was renewedly confirmed in my rnirid, 
that the Lord (whose tender mercies are over all his 
works, and whose ear is open to the cries and groans 
of the oppressed) is graciously moving on the hearts 
of people, to draw them off from the desire of 
wealth, and bring them into such an humble, lowly 
way of living, that they may see their way clearly, 
to repair to the standard of true righteousness ; and 
not only break the yoke of oppression, but know 
Him to be their strength and support in time of 
outward affliction. 

We, passing on, crossed Chester River; and had 
a meeting there, and at Cecil and Sassafras. 
Through niy bodily weakness, joined with a heavy 
exercise of rnind, it was to rne an humbling dis 
pensation, and I had a very lively feeling of the 
state of the oppressed ; yet I often thought, that 
what I suffered was little, compared with the suf 
ferings of the blessed Jesus, and many of his faith 
ful followers ; and may say with thankfulness, I 
was made content. 

From Sassafras we went pretty directly home, 
where we found our families well ; and for several 
weeks after our return, I had often to look over our 
journey ; and though to me it appeared as a small 
service, and that some faithful messengers will yet 
have more bitter cups to drink in those southern 
provinces for Christ s sake than we had ; yet I 


found peace in that I had been helped to walk in 
sincerity, according to the understanding arid 
strength given me. 

On the thirteenth day of the eleventh month, 
1766, with the unity of friends at our monthly 
meeting, in company with my beloved friend Ben 
jamin Jones, I set out on a visit to friends in the 
upper part of this province, having had drawings 
of love in my heart that way a considerable time. 
We travelled as far as Hardvvick, and I had inward 
peace in my labours of love amongst them. 

Through the humbling dispensations of Divine 
Providence, my mind hath been brought into a 
further feeling of the difficulties of friends and their 
servants south-westward ; and being often engaged 
in spirit on their account, I believed it my duty to 
walk in to some parts of the western shore of Mary 
land, on a religious visit. And having obtained a 
certificate from friends of our monthly meeting, I 
took my leave of my family under the heart-tender 
ing operation of truth; and on the twentieth day of 
the fourth month, 1767, I rode to the ferry oppo 
site to Philadelphia, and from thence walked to 
William Home s, at Derby, that evening ; and next 
day pursued my journey alone, and reached Concord 
weekday meeting. 

Discouragements and a weight of distress had, at 
times, attended me in this lonesome walk, through 
which afflictions, I was mercifully preserved. And 
now sitting down with friends, my mind was turned 
toward the Lord, to wait for his holy leadings, who 
in infinite love was pleased to soften my heart into 


humble contrition, and did renewcdiy strengthen 
me to go forward, that to me it was a time of hea 
venly refreshment in a silent meeting. 

The next day I came to New Garden weekday 
meeting, in which I sat with bowedness of spirit ; 
and being baptized into a feeling of the state of 
some present, the Lord gave us a heart-tendering 
season ; to his name be the praise. 

I passed on, and was at Nottingham monthly 
meeting ; and at a meeting at Little Britain on first 
day ; and in the afternoon several friends came to 
the house where I lodged, and we had a little after 
noon meeting ; and through the humbling power 
of truth, I had to admire the loving kindness of the 
Lord manifested to us. 

On the twenty-sixth day, I crossed the Susque- 
hannah,and corning amongst people in outward ease 
and greatness, supported chiefly on the labour of 
slaves, my heart was much affected ; and in awful 
retiredness, my mind was gathered inward to the 
Lord, being humbly engaged that in true resigna 
tion I might receive instruction from Him, respect 
ing my duty amongst this people. 

Though travelling on foot was wearisome to my 
body, yet thus travelling was agreeable to the state 
of my mind. 

I went gently on, being weakly, and was covered 
with sorrow and heaviness, on account of the 
spreading, prevailing spirit of this world, introduc 
ing customs grievous and oppressive on one hand, 
and cherishing pride and wantonness on the other. 
In this lonely walk, and state of abasement and hu- 


initiation, the state of the church in these parts was 
opened before me ; and I may truly say with the 
prophet, " I was bowed down at. the hearing of it ; 
I was dismayed at the seeing of it." Under this 
exercise, I attended the quarterly meeting at Gun 
powder ; and in bowedriess of spirit, I had to open, 
with much plainness, what I felt respecting friends 
living in fulness, on the labours of the poor op 
pressed negroes ; and that promise of the Most High 
was now revived : "I will gather ail nations and 
tongues ; and they shall corne and see my glory." 
Here the sufferings of Christ, and his tasting death 
for every man, and the travels, sufferings, and mar 
tyrdoms of the apostles, and primitive Christians, in 
labouring for the conversion of the gentiles, was 
livingly revived in me ; and according to the mea 
sure of strength afforded, I laboured in some ten 
derness of spirit, being deeply affected amongst 
them ; and thus the difference between the present 
treatment which these gentiles the negroes receive 
at our hands, and the labours of the primitive 
Christians for the conversion of the gentiles, were 
pressed home, and the power of truth came over 
us ; under a feeling of which, my mind was united 
to a tender-hearted people in those parts ; and the 
meeting concluded in a sense of God s goodness 
toward his humble, dependent children. 

The next day was a general meeting for worship, 
much crowded, in which I was deeply engaged in 
inward cries to the Lord for help, that I might stand 
wholly resigned, and move only as He might be 
pleased to lead me. And I was mercifully helped 


to labour honestly and fervently amongst them, in 
which I found inward peace, and the sincere were 

Prom hence I turned towards Pipe Creek,, and 
passed on to the Red Lands, and had several meet 
ings amongst friends in those parts. My heart was 
often tenderly affected, under a sense of the Lord s 
goodness, in sanctifying my troubles and exercises, 
turning them to my comfort, and, I believe, to the 
benefit of many others ; for, I may say with thank 
fulness, that in this visit, it appeared like a fresh 
tendering visitation in most places. 

I passed on to the western quarterly meeting in 
Pennsylvania. During the several days of this meet 
ing, I was mercifully preserved in an inward feeling 
after the mind of truth, and my public labours 
tended to my humiliation, with which I was con 
tent. After the quarterly meeting of worship 
ended, I felt drawings to go to the women s meet 
ing of business, which was very full ; and here the 
humility of Jesus Christ, as a pattern for us to 
walk by, was livingly opened before me ; and in 
treating on it my heart was enlarged, and it was a 
baptizing time. From hence I went on, and was 
at meetings at Concord, Middletown, Providence, 
and Haddon field, and so home, where I found my 
family well. A sense of the Lord s merciful pre 
servation in this my journey, excites reverent thank 
fulness to Him. 

On the second day of the ninth month, 1767, 
with the unity of friends, I set off on a visit to 
friends in the upper part of Berks and Philadelphia 


counties ; was at eleven meetings in about two 
weeks, and have renewed cause to bow in rever 
ence before the Lord, who, by the powerful ex- 
tendings of his humbling goodness, opened my 
way amongst friends, and made the meetings (I 
trust) profitable to us. And the winter following, 
I joined friends on a visit to friends fanilies, in some 
part of our meeting, in which exercise, the pure in 
fluence of divine love, made our visits reviving. 

On the fifth day of the fifth month, 1768, I left 
home, under the humbling hand of the Lord, hav 
ing obtained a certificate, in order to visit some 
meetings in Maryland ; and to proceed without a 
horse looked clearest to me. I was at the quarterly 
meetings at Philadelphia and Concord ; and then 
went on to Chester River ; and crossing the bay 
with friends, was at the yearly meeting at West 
River ; thence back to Chester River, and taking a 
few meetings in my way, proceeded home. It was a 
journey of much inward waiting, and as my eye was 
to the Lord, way was several times opened to my 
humbling admiration, when things had appeared 
very difficult. 

In my return, I felt a relief of mind very comfort 
able to me, having, through divine help, laboured 
in much plainness, both with friends selected, and 
in the more public meetings ; so that (I trust) the 
pure witness, in many rninds, was reached. 

The eleventh day of the sixth month, 1769. Sun 
dry cases have happened of late years, within the 
limits of our monthly meeting, respecting that of 


exercising pure righteousness toward the negroes, 
in which I have lived under a labour of heart,, that 
equity might be steadily kept to. On this account, 
I have had some close exercises amongst friends, 
in which, I may thankfully say, I find peace. And 
as my meditations have been on universal love, my 
own conduct in time past, became of late very 
grievous to me. 

As persons setting negroes free in our province, 
are bound by law to maintain them, in case 
they have need of relief ; some who scrupled keep 
ing slaves for term of life, in the time of my youth, 
were wont to detain their young negroes in their 
service till thirty years of age, without wages, on 
that account ; and with this custom I so far agreed, 
that I, being joined to another friend, in executing 
the will of a deceased friend, once sold a negro lad 
till he might attain the age of thirty years, and ap 
plied the money to the use of the estate. 

With abasement of heart, I may now say, that 
sometimes, as I have sat in a meeting, with my 
heart exercised toward that awful Being, who res- 
pecteth not persons nor colours, and have looked 
upon this lad, I have felt that all was not clear in 
my m md respecting him ; and as I have attended 
to this exercise, and fervently sought the Lord, 
it hath appeared to me, that I should make some 
restitution, but in what way I saw not till lately ; 
when being under some concern, that I may be re 
signed to go on a visit to some part of the West 
Indies ; and under close engagement of spirit seek- 


ing to the Lord for counsel herein, that of my join 
ing in the sale aforesaid, carne heavily upon me, 
and my mind, for a time, was covered with darkness 
and sorrow; and under this sore affliction, my heart 
was softened to receive instruction. And here I first 
saw, that as I had been one of the two executors, 
who had sold this lad for nine years longer than is 
common for our own children to serve, so I should 
now offer a part of rny substance to redeem the last 
half of that nine years ; but as the time was not 
yet come, I executed a bond, binding me and my 
executors, to pay to the man he was sold to, what 
to candid men might appear equitable, for the last 
four years and a half of his time, in case the said 
youth should be living, and in a condition likely to 
provide comfortably for himself. 

The ninth day of the tenth month, 1769. My 
heart hath often been deeply afflicted under a feel 
ing I have had, that the standard of pure righteous* 
uess, is not lifted up to the people by us, as a so 
ciety, in that clearness which it might have been, 
had we been so faithful to the teachings of Christ, as 
we ought to have been. And as my mind hath been 
inward to the Lord, the purity of Christ s govern 
ment hath been opened in my understanding ; and 
under this exercise, that of friends being active in 
civil society, in putting laws in force which are not 
agreeable to the purity of righteousness, hath, for 
several years, been an increasing burden upon me, 
having felt, in the opening of universal love, that 
where a people convinced of the truth of the in.* 


ward teachings of Christ,, are active in putting laws 
in execution, which are not consistent with pure 
wisdom, it hath a necessary tendency to bring dim 
ness over their minds ; and as my heart hath been 
thus exercised, and a tender sympathy in me to 
ward my fellow members, I have, within a tew 
months past, in several meetings for discipline, ex 
pressed my concern on this subject. 



Under some bodily indisposition, his body, by absti 
nence, much weakened; and his mind, at that 
time, exercised for the good of the people in the 
West Indies. His afterwards communicating to 

friends his being resigned to visit some of these 
islands. The state of his mind, and the close con 
siderations he was led into, zvhile under this exer 
cise. His preparations to embark, and his consi 
derations on the trade to these islands ; and his 
being, when the vessel was ready to sail, released 

from the concern he had been under, His reli 
gious engagements after his return home. His 
sickness, in which he was brought to a very low 
state ; and the prospects he then had. 

THE twelfth day of the third month. Having for 
some years past dieted myself on account of a lump 
gathering on my nose, under which diet I grew 
weak in body, and not of ability to travel by land 
as heretofore ; I was at times favoured to look with 
awfulness toward the Lord, before whom are all my 
ways, who alone hath the power of life and death ; 
and to feel thankfulness raised in me for this his 
fatherly chastisement, believing, if I was truly 
humbled under it, all would work for good. While I 
was under this bodily weakness, my mind being at 
times exercised for my fellow-creatures in the West 


Indies, I grew jealous over myself, lest the dis- 
agreeableness of the prospect should hinder me 
from obediently attending thereto ; for though I 
knew not that the Lord required me to go there, 
yet I believed that resignation was now called for 
in that respect. Feeling a danger of not being 
wholly devoted to him,, I was frequently engaged 
to watch unto prayer, that I might be preserved ; 
and upwards of a year having passed,, I walked one 
day in a solitary wood, my mind being covered with 
awfulness, cries were raised in me to my merciful 
Father, that He would graciously keep me in faith 
fulness ; and it then settled on my mind, as a duty, 
to open rny condition to friends at our monthly 
meeting ; which I did soon after, as follows : 

se An exercise hath attended me for some time 
past, and of late been more weighty upon me, 
under which, I believe it is required of me to be 
resigned to go on a visit to some part of the West 
Indies/ In the quarterly and general spring meet 
ing, I found no clearness to express any thing fur 
ther, than that I believed resignation herein was re 
quired of rne ; and having obtained certificates from 
all the said meetings, I felt like a sojourner at my 
outward habitation, kept free from worldly encum 
brances, and was often bowed in spirit before the 
Lord, with inward breathings to Him, that I might 
be rightly directed. And I may here note, that 
what I have before related of my being, when young, 
joined as an executor with another friend, in exe 
cuting the will of the deceased, our having sold a 
negro lad till he might attain the age of thirty years, 


was now the cause of much sorrow to me ; and 
after having settled matters relating to this youth, 
I provided a sea-store arid bed, and things for the 
voyage. Hearing of a vessel likely to sail from 
Philadelphia for Barbadoes, I spake with one of the 
owners at Burlington., and soon after went to Phi 
ladelphia on purpose to speak with him again ; at 
which time he told me there was a friend in town 
who was part owner of the said vessel ; but I felt no 
inclination to speak with him, but returned home : 
and,, a while after I took leave of my family ; and 
going to Philadelphia, had some weighty conver 
sation with the first-mentioned owner., and showed 
him a writing, as follows : 

" On the twenty-fifth day of the eleventh month, 
1769, as an exercise, with respect to a visit to Bar- 
badoes, hath been weighty on my mind, I may 
express some of the trials which have attended me 
under these trials, I have at times rejoiced, in that 
1 have felt my own self-will subjected. 

" I once, some years ago, retailed rum, sugar, 
and molasses, the fruits of the labour of slaves ; but 
then had not much concern about them, save only 
that the rum might be used in moderation ; nor was 
this concern so weightily attended to as I now 
believe it ought to have been. Of late years, 
being further informed respecting the oppressions 
too generally exercised in these islands, and think 
ing often on the decrees that are in connexions of 

o o 

interest and fellowship with the works of darkness, 
Ephes. v. 11. ; and feeling an increasing concern to 
be wholly given up to the leadings of the Holy 


Spirit., it hath appeared that the small gain I got by 
this branch of trade should be applied in promoting 
righteousness on the earth, and with this was the first 
motion to ward a visit to Barbadoes. I believed the 
outward substance I possess should be applied in 
paying my passage, if I go, and providing things in 
a lowly way for my subsistence ; but when the time 
drew near, in which I believed it required of 
me to be in readiness, a difficulty arose which hath 
been a continued trial tor some months past ; under 
which I have, with abasement of mind, from day to 
day, sought the Lord for instruction, and often had 
a feeling of the condition of one formerly, who 
bewailed himself for that the Lord hid his face 
from him. During these exercises my heart hath 
been often contrite, and I have had a tender feeling 
of the temptations of my fellow-creatures labouring 
under these expensive customs distinguishable from 
the simplicity that there is in Christ, 2 Cor. ii. 3. 
and sometimes in the renewings of gospel love, 
have been helped to minister to others. 

(f That which hath so closely engaged rny mind, 
in seeking to the Lord for instruction, is, whether, 
after so full information of the oppression the slaves 
in the West Indies lie under, who raise the West 
India produce, as I had in reading a caution and 
warning to Great Britain and her colonies written by 
Anthony Benezet, it is right for me to take a pas 
sage in a vessel, employed in the West India 

fc To trade freely with oppressors, and with on t 
labouring to dissuade from such unkind treatment, 


to seek for gain by such traffic, tends, I believe, to 
make them more easy respecting their conduct than, 
they would be, if the cause of universal righteous 
ness was humbly and firmly attended to by those in 
general with whom they have commerce ; and that 
complaint of the Lord by his prophet, ff They have 
strengthened the hands of the wicked/ hath very 
often revived in my mind ; and I may here add 
some circumstances preceding any prospect of a 
visit there. The case of David hath often been 
before me of late years : he longed for some water 
in a well beyond an army of Philistines, at war 
with Israel ; and some of his men, to please him, 
ventured their lives in passing through this army, 
arid brought that water. 

Cf It doth not appear that the Israelites were then 
scarce of water, but rather that David gave way to 
delicacy of taste ; but having thought on the danger 
these men were exposed to, he considered this water 
as their blood, and his heart smote him that he could 
not drink it, but pour it out to the Lord. And the 
oppression of the slaves, which I have seen in seve 
ral journies southward on this continent, and the 
report of their treatment in the West Indies, hath 
deeply affected me; and a care to live in the spirit 
of peace, and minister just cause of offence to none 
of rny fellow-creatures, hath, from time to time, 
livingly revived on my mind; and, under this exer 
cise, I, for some years past, declined to gratify my 
palate with those sugars. 

Cf I do not censure my brethren in these things ; 
but believe the Father of Mercies, to whom all 


mankind by creation are equally related, hath heard 
the groans of this oppressed people, and is preparing 
some to have a tender feeling of their condition ; 
and the trading in, or frequent use of, any produce 
known to be raised by the labours of those who are 
under such lamentable oppression, hath appeared to 
be a subject which may yet more require the serious 
consideration of the humble followers of Christ, the 
Prince of peace. 

f{ After long and mournful exercise, I am now 
free to mention how things have opened in my 
mind, with desires that if it may please the Lord to 
further open his will to any of his children in this 
matter, they may faithfully follow Him in such fur 
ther manifestation. 

c( The number of those who decline the use of 
the West India produce, on account of the hard 
usage of the slaves who raise it, appears small, even 
amongst people truly pious ; and the labours in 
Christian love, on that subject, of those who do, are 
not very extensive. 

" Were the trade from this continent to the West 
Indies to be quite stopped at once, I believe many 
there would suffer for want of bread. 

" Did we on this continent, and the inhabitants 
of the West Indies, generally dwell in pure righte 
ousness, I believe a small trade between us might 
be right. Under these considerations, when the 
thoughts of wholly declining the use of trading 
vessels, and of trying to hire a vessel to go under 
ballast, have arisen in my mind, I have believed 
that the labours in gospel love, yet bestowed in the 


cause of universal righteousness, are riot arrived to 
that height. 

" If the trade to the West Indies were no more 
than was consistent with pure wisdom, I believe 
the passage-money would, for good reasons,, be 
higher than it is now; and here,, under deep ex 
ercise of mind,, I have believed that I should not 
take advantage of this great trade and small pas 
sage-money ; but, as a testimony in favour of less 
trading, should pay more than is common for others 
to pay., if I go at this time." 

The first mentioned owner having read the paper, 
expressed a willingness to go with me to the other 
owner ; and we going, the said other owner read 
over the paper, and we had some solid conversation, 
under which I felt myself bowed in reverence before 
the Most High : and at length one of them asked 
me if I would go and see the vessel. But I had 
not clearness in my mind to go ; but went to my 
lodging, and retired in private. 

I was now r under great exercise of mind ; and my 
tears were poured out before the Lord, with inward 
cries that He would graciously help me under these 

In this case I believed my mind was resigned,, 
but did not feel clearness to proceed ; and my own 
weakness, and the necessity of divine instruction,, 
was impressed upon me. 

1 was for a time as one who knew not what to do, 
and was tossed as in a tempest; under which afflic 
tion, the doctrine of Christ, " Take no thought for 
the morrow/ arose livingly before me. I remem^ 


bered it was some days before they expected the 
vessel to sail, and was favoured to get into a good 
degree of stillness ; and having been near two days 
in town, I believed my obedience to my heavenly 
Father consisted in returning homeward ; and then 
I went over amongst friends on the Jersey shore,, 
and tarried till the morning on which they had 
appointed to sail. And as I lay in bed the latter 
part of that night, my mind was comforted ; and I 
felt what I esteemed a fresh confirmation, that it was 
the Lord s will that I should pass through some 
further exercises near home. 

So I went home, and still felt like a sojourner 
with my family ; and in the fresh spring of pure 
love, had some labours in a private way amongst 
friends, on a subject relating to truth s testimony, 
under which I had frequently been exercised in 
heart for some years. 1 remember, as I walked on 
the road under this exercise, that passage in Ezekiel 
came fresh before me : " Whithersoever their faces 
were turned, thither they went." And I was gra 
ciously helped to discharge my duty, in the fear 
and dread of the Almighty. 

After a few weeks, it pleased the Lord to visit rne 
with a pleurisy ; and after I had lain a few days, 
and felt the disorder very grievous, I was thoughtful 
how it might end. 

I had of late, through various exercises, been 
much weaned from the pleasant things of this life ; 
and I now thought, if it was the Lord s will to put 
an end to my labours, and graciously receive me 
into the arms of his mercy, death would be accept- 


able to rne ; but if it was his will to fin ther refine me 
under affliction, and make me in any degree useful in 
his church,, I desired not to die. I may, with thank 
fulness, say,, that in this case I felt resignedness 
wrought in me, and had no inclination to send for a 
doctor ; believing, if it was the Lord s will, through 
outward means, to raise me up., some sympathizing 
friends would be sent to minister to me ; who 
were accordingly : but though I was carefully at 
tended, yet the disorder was at times so heavy,, that 
I had no thoughts of recovery. One night in par 
ticular., my bodily distress was great ; iny feet grew 
cold, and cold increased up my legs toward my 
body ; and at that time I had no inclination to 
ask my nurse to apply any thing warm to my 
feet, expecting my end was near : and after I had 
lain near ten hours in this condition I closed my 
eyes, thinking whether I might now be delivered 
out of the body ; but, in these awful moments, my 
mind was livingly opened to behold the church ; 
and strong engagements were begotten in me,, for 
the everlasting well-being of my fellow-creatures. 
I felt, in the spring of pure love, that 1 might 
remain some time longer in the body, in filling up, 
according to my measure, that which remains of the 
afflictions of Christ, and in labouring for the good 
of the church ; after which, I requested my nurse to 
apply warmth to my feet, and I revived. The next 
night, feeling a weighty exercise of spirit, and 
having a solid friend sitting up with me, I requested 
him to write what I said, which he did as follows : 


r " Fourth day of the first month, 1770, about five 
in the morning. I have seen in the Light of the 
Lord, that the day is approaching, when the man 
that is the most wise in human policy shall be the 
greatest fool ; and the arm that is mighty to support 
injustice shall be broken to pieces ; the enemies of 
righteousness shall make a terrible rattle, and shall 
mightily torment one another ; for He that is omni 
potent is rising up to judgment, and will plead the 
cause of the oppressed ; and He commanded me to 
open the vision/* 

Near a week after this, feeling my mind livingly 
opened, I sent for a neighbour, who, at my request,, 
wrote as follows: 

<f The place of prayer is a precious habitation ; 
for I now saw that the prayers of the saints were 
precious incense : and a trumpet was given me, that 
I might sound forth this language ; that the chil 
dren might hear it, and be invited together to this 
precious habitation, where the prayers of the saints, 
as precious incense, arise before the throne of Grod 
and the Lamb. I saw this habitation to be safe ; 
to be inwardly quiet when there were great stirrings 
and commotions in the world. 

fc Prayer, at this day, in pure resignation, is a 
precious place : the trumpet is sounded ; the call 
goes forth to the church, that she gather to the 
place of pure inward prayer; and her habitation is 



His preparing to visit friends in England. His 
embarking at Chester, in company with Samuel 
Emlen, in a ship bound to London. His deep 
exercise, in observing the difficulties and hardships 
the common sailors are exposed to. Considera 
tions on the dangers to which youth are exposed, 
in being trained to a seafaring life, and its incon 
sistency with a pious education. His thoughts in 
a storm at sea ; with many instructive contem 
plations on the voyage. His arrival at London. 

HAVING been some time under a religious concern 
to prepare for crossing the seas, in order to visit 
friends in the northern parts of England, and more 
particularly in Yorkshire ; after weighty considera 
tion, I thought it expedient to inform friends, at 
our monthly meeting at Burlington, of it; who, 
having unity with me therein, gave me a certificate; 
and I afterwards communicated the same to our 
quarterly meeting,, and they likewise certified their 
concurrence therewith. Some time after which, at 
the general spring meeting of ministers and elders, I 
thought it my duty to acquaint them of the religious 
exercise which attended my mind; with which they 
likewise signified their unity by a certificate, dated 
the twenty-fourth day of the third month, 1772, 
directed to friends in Great Britain. 


In the fourth month following, I thought the 
time was come for me to make some inquiry for a 
suitable conveyance ; being apprehensive that, as 
my concern was principally toward the northern 
parts of England, it would be most proper to go in 
a vessel bound to Liverpool or Whitehaven. And 
while I was at Philadelphia, deliberating on this 
occasion, I was informed that my beloved friend 
Samuel Einleri, junior, intended to go to London, 
and had taken a passage for himself in the cabin of 
the ship called Mary and Elizabeth, of which James 
Sparks was master, and John Head, of the city of 
Philadelphia, one of the owners ; and I, feeling a 
draft in my mind toward the steerage of the same 
ship, went first and opened to Samuel the feeling I 
had concerning it. 

My beloved friend wept when I spake to him, 
and appeared glad that I had thoughts of going in 
the vessel with him, though my prospect was toward 
the steerage ; and he offering to go with me, we 
went on board, first into the cabin, a commodious 
room, and then into the steerage ; where we sat 
down on a chest, the sailors being busy about us ; 
then the owner of the ship came and sat down with 

Here my mind was turned toward Christ, the 
heavenly counsellor ; and, I feeling at this time my 
own will subjected, my heart was contrite before 

A motion was made by the owner to go and sit 
in the cabin, as a place more retired; but I felt 
easy to leave the ship, and made no agreement as 


to a passage in her ; but told the owner, if I took a 
passage in the ship, I believed it would be in the 
steerage ; but did not say much as to my exercise 
in that case. 

After I went to my lodgings., and the case was a 
little known in town, a friend laid before me the 
great inconvenience attending a passage in the 
steerage; which, for a time appeared very discou 
raging to me. 

1 soon after went to bed, and my mind was un 
der a deep exercise before the Lord, whose helping 
hand was manifested to me as I slept that night* 
and his love strengthened my heart. And in the 
morning, I went with two friends on board the ves 
sel again ; and after a short time spent therein, I 
went with Samuel Emlen to the house of the owner, 
to whom, in the hearing of Samuel only, I opened 
my exercise, in substance as follows, in relation to 
a scruple I felt with regard to a passage in the 

I told the owner, that on the outside of that part 
of the ship where the cabin was, I observed sundry 
sorts of carved work and imagery ; and that in the 
cabin I observed some superfluity of workmanship 
of several sorts; and that according to the ways of 
men s reckoning, the sum of money to be paid for a 
passage in that apartment., hath some relation to 
the expense in furnishing it to please the minds of 
such as gave way to a conformity to this world ; 
and that in this case, as in other cases, the monies 
received from the passengers are calculated to an 
swer every expense relating to their passage, and 


amongst the rest, of these superfluities ; and that 
in that case, I felt a scruple with regard to paying 
my money to defray such expenses. 

As my mind was now opened, I told the owner, 
that I had,, at several times in my travels, seen 
great oppressions on this continent at which my 
heart had been much affected, and brought into a 
feeling of the state of the sufferers, and having many 
times been engaged, in the fear and love of God, to 
labour with those under whom the oppressed have 
been borne down and afflicted; I have often per 
ceived, that a view to get riches, and provide es 
tates for children, to live conformable to customs, 
which stand in that spirit wherein men have regard 
to the honours of this world that in the pursuit of 
these things, I had seen many entangled in the 
spirit of oppression ; and the exercise of my soul 
had been such, that I could not find peace, in join 
ing in any thing which I saw was against that wis 
dom which is pure. 

After this, 1 agreed for a passage in the steerage ; 
and hearing in town that Joseph White had a de 
sire to see me, I felt the reviving of a desire to see 
him, and went then to his house, and next day 
home, where I tarried two nights. And then early 
in the morning, I parted with my family, under a 
sense of the humbling hand of God upon me, and 
going to Philadelphia, had opportunity with seve 
ral of my beloved friends, who appeared to be con 
cerned for me, on account of the unpleasant situa 
tion of that part of the vessel, where I was likely 
to lodge. 


In these opportunities, rny mind through the 
mercies of the Lord., was kept low, in an inward 
waiting for his help, and friends having expressed 
their desire, that I might have a place more conve 
nient than the steerage, did not urge, but appeared 
disposed to leave me to the Lord. 

Having staid two nights in Philadelphia, I went 
the next day to Derby monthly meeting, where 
through the strength of divine love, my heart was 
enlarged toward the youth then present, under 
which I was helped to labour in some tenderness of 
spirit. Then lodging at William Horn s, I, with 
one friend, went to Chester, where meeting with 
Samuel Ernlen, we went on board, the first day of 
the fifth month, 1772 : and as I sat down alone, on 
a seat on the deck, I felt a satisfactory evidence, 
that my proceedings were not in my own will, but 
under the power of the cross of Christ. 

Seventh day of the fifth month : have had rough 
weather, mostly since I came on board, and the 
passengers, James Reynolds, John Till Adams, 
Sarah Logan and her hired maid, and John Bis- 
pham, all sea-sick, more or less, at times ; from 
which sickness, through the tender mercies of my 
heavenly Father, I have been preserved, my afflic 
tions now being of another kind. 

There appeared an openness in the minds of the 
ma.ster of the ship and in the cabin passengers to 
ward me : we were often together on the deck, and 
sometimes in the cabin. 

My mind, through the merciful help of the Lord, 
hath been preserved in a good degree watchful, 


and inward ; and I have, this day, great cause to 
be thankful, in that I remain to feel quietness of 

As my lodging in the steerage, now near a week, 
hath afforded me sundry opportunities of seeing, 
hearing, and feeling, with respect to the life and 
spirit of many poor sailors ; an inward exercise of 
soul hath attended me, in regard to placing out 
children and youth where they may be likely to be 
exampled and instructed in the pure fear of the 
Lord ; and I being much amongst the seamen, have 
from a motion of love, sundry times taken opportu 
nities, with one of them at a time alone, and in a 
free conversation, laboured to turn their minds to 
ward the fear of the Lord. And this day we had a 
meeting in the cabin, where my heart was contrite 
under a feeling of divine love. 

Now concerning lads being trained up as sea 
men, I believe a communication from one part of 
the world to some other parts of it, by sea, is, at 
times, consistent with the will of our heavenly Fa 
ther ; and to educate some youth in the practice of 
sailing, I believe may be light; but how lamenta 
ble is the present corruption of the world ! How 
impure are the channels through which trade hath 
a conveyance ! How great is that danger, to which 
poor lads are now exposed, when placed on ship 
board to learn the art of sailing ? 

Five lads, training up for the seas, were now on 
board this ship ; two of them brought up amongst 
our society, one of whom hath a right amongst 
friends, by name James Naiior, to whose father 


James Nailor, mentioned in Sewel s history, ap 
pears to have been uncle. 

I often feel a tenderness of heart toward these 
poor lads ; and, at times, look at them as though 
they were my children according to the flesh. 

O that all may take heed and beware of covetous- 
ness ! O that all may learn of Christ, who was meek 
and low of heart ! Then, in faithfully following 
him, he will teach us to be content with food and 
raiment, without respect to the customs or honours 
of this world. 

Men thus redeemed, will feel a tender concern 
for their fellow-creatures, and a desire that those in 
the lowest stations may be assisted and encouraged, 
and where owners of ships attain to the perfect law 
of liberty, and are doers of the word, these will be 
blessed in their deeds. ^V 

A ship at sea commonly sails all night, and the 
seamen take their watches four hours at a time. 

Rising to work in the night, is not commonly 
pleasant in any case ; but in dark rainy nights it is 
very disagreeable, even though each man were fur 
nished with all conveniences ; but if men must go 
out at midnight to help to manage the ship in the 
rain, and having small room to sleep and lay their 
garments in, are often beset to furnish themselves 
for the watch ; their garments or some thing relat 
ing to their business being wanting, and not easily 
found ; when from the urgency occasioned by high 
winds, they are hastened and called up suddenly : 
here is a trial of patience on the poor sailors, and 
the poor lads their companions. 


If after they have been on deck several hours in 
the night, and come down in the steerage soaking 
wet, and are so close stowed that proper conveni 
ence for change of garments is not easily come at, 
but for want of proper room their wet garments 
thrown in heaps, and sometimes, through much 
crowding, are trodden under foot in going to their 
lodgings and getting out of them, and great diffi 
culties, at times, each one to find his own : here 
are trials on the poor sailors. 

Now as 1 have been with them in my lodge, my 
heart hath often yearned for them,, and tender desires 
been raised in me, that all owners and masters of 
vessels may dwell in the love of God, and therein 
act uprightly, and by seeking less for gain, and 
looking carefully to their ways, may earnestly la 
bour to remove all cause of provocation from the 
poor seamen, either to fret or use excess of strong 
drink; for, indeed, the poor creatures, at times, in 
the wot and cold, seem to apply to strong drink to 
supply the want of other convenience. 

Great reformation in the world is wanting, and 
the necessity of it, amongst these who do business 
on great waters, hath, at this time, been abundantly 
opened before me. 

The eighth day of the fifth month. This morn 
ing the clouds gathered, the wind blew strong from 
the south-eastward, and, before noon, increased to 
that degree that sailing appeared dangerous. The 
seamen then bound up some of their sails, and took 
down some; and the storm increasing, they put the 
dead lights, so called, into the cabin -windows, and 
lighted a lamp as at night. 

The wind now blew vehemently, and the sea 
wrought to that degree, that an awful seriousness 
prevailed in the cabin, in which I spent I believe, 
about seventeen hours, for I believed the poor wet 
toiling seamen, had need of all the room in the 
crowded steerage, and the cabin passengers had 
given me frequent invitations. 

They ceased now from sailing, and put the ves 
sel in the posture called lying-to. 

My mind in this tempest, through the gracious 
assistance of the Lord, was preserved in a good 
degree of resignation ; and I felt, at times, a few 
words in his love to my ship-mates, in regard to the 
all-sufficiency of Him who formed the great deep, 
and whose care is so extensive, that a sparrow falls 
not without his notice; and thus, in a tender frame 
of mind, spoke to them of the necessity of our 
yielding, in true obedience to the instructions of our 
heavenly Father, who sometimes, through adversi 
ties, intendeth our refinement. 

About eleven at night, I went out on the deck, 
when the sea wrought exceedingly, and the high 
foaming \vaves, all round about, had, in some sort, 
the appearance of fire, but did not give much, if 
any, light. 

The sailor, then at the helm, said he lately saw a 
corposant at the head of the mast. 

About this time, I observed the master of the ship 
ordered the carpenter to keep on the deck, and 
though he said little, I apprehended his care was 
that the carpenter with his axe might be in readi 
ness in case of any extremity. 



Soon after this the vehemency of the wind abated, 
and before morning, they again put the ship under 

The tenth day of the month, and first of the 
week, it being fine weather, we had a meeting in 
the cabin, at which most of the seamen were pre 
sent ; this meeting to me was a strengthening 

The thirteenth day of the month. As I continue 
to lodge in the steerage, I feel an openness this 
morning, to express something further of the state 
of my mind, in respect to poor lads bound appren 
tice to learn the art of sailing. As I believe sailing 
is of some use in the world, a labour of soul attends 
me, that the pure counsel of truth may be humbly 
waited for in this case, by all concerned in the busi 
ness of the seas. 

A pious father, whose mind is exercised for the 
everlasting welfare of his child, may not, with a 
peaceable mind, place him out to an employment 
amongst a people, whose common course of life is 
manifestly corrupt and profane. So great is the pre 
sent defect amongst seafaring men, in regard to 
piety and virtue ; and through an abundant trailic, 
and many ships of war, so many people are em 
ployed on the sea, that this subject of placing iads 
to the employment appears very weighty. 

Profane examples are very corrupting, and very 
forcible. And as my mind, day after day, and night 
after night, hath been affected with a sympathizing 
tenderness toward poor children, put to the em 
ployment of sailors, I have sometimes had weighty 


conversation with the sailors in the steerage,, who 
were mostly respectful to me, and more and more 
so the longer I was with them. They mostly ap 
peared to take kindly what I said to them ; but 
their minds have appeared to be so deeply impressed 
with that almost universal depravity amongst sail 
ors., that the poor creatures in their answers to me 
on this subject, have revived in my remembrance, 
that of the degenerate Jews a little before the cap 
tivity, as repeated by Jeremiah the prophet, "There 
is no hope/ 

Now under this exercise, a sense of the desire of 
outward gain prevailing amongst us, hath felt 
grievous ; and a strong call to the professed follow 
ers of Christ, hath been raised in me ; that all may 
take heed, lest through loving this present world, 
they be found in a continued neglect of duty, with 
respect to a faithful labour for a reformation. 

Silence, as to every motion proceeding from the 
love of money, and an humble waiting upon God, 
to know his will concerning us, hath now appeared 
necessary. He alone is able to strengthen us to 
dig deep, to remove all which lies between us and 
the safe foundation, and so direct us in our outward 
employments, that pure universal love, may shine 
forth in our proceedings. 

Desires arising from the spirit of truth, are pure 
desires, and when a mind divinely opened toward 
a young generation, is made sensible of corrupting 
examples, powerfully working, and extensively 
spreading amongst them, how moving is the pros 

A great trade to the coast of Africa for slaves, of 
which I now heard frequent conversation amongst 
the sailors ! 

A great trade in that which is raised and prepared 
through grievous oppression ! 

A great trade in superfluity of workmanship, 
formed to please the pride and vanity of people s 
minds ! 

Great and extensive is that depravity which pre 
vails amongst the poor sailors ! 

When I remember that saying of the Most 
High, through his prophet, " This people have I 
formed for myself; they shall show forth my 
praise :" and think of placing children amongst 
them, to learn the practice of sailing, the consistency 
of it with a pious education, seems to me like that 
mentioned by the prophet, " There is no answer 
from God." 

In a world of dangers and difficulties, like a de 
solate thorny wilderness, how precious! how com 
fortable ! how safe ! are the leadings of Christ, the 
good shepherd, who said, " I know my sheep, and 
am known of mine." 

The sixteenth day of the month. Wind, for se 
veral days past, often high, what the sailors call 
squally, rough sea, and frequent rains. This last 
night a very trying night to the poor seamen ; the 
water, chief part of the night, running over the 
main deck, and sometimes breaking waves came on 
the quarter deck. The latter part of the night, as 
I lay in bed, my mind was humbled under the power 
of divine love ; and resignedness to the great Cre- 


ator of the earth and the seas, renewedly wrought 
in me, whose fatherly care over his children felt 
precious to my soul ; and desires were now re 
newed in me, to embrace every opportunity of being 
inwardly acquainted with the hardships and diffi 
culties of my fellow-creatures, and to labour in his 
love for the spreading of pure universal righteous 
ness on the earth. The opportunities being frequent 
of hearing conversation amongst the sailors, in re 
spect to the voyages to Africa, and the manner of 
bringing the deeply oppressed slaves into our islands ; 
and thoughts of their condition frequently in chains 
and fetters on board the vessels, with hearts loaded 
with grief, under the apprehensions of miserable 
slavery ; my mind was frequently opened to medi 
tate on these things. 

On the seventeenth day of the month, and first 
of the week, we had a meeting in the cabin, to 
which the seamen generally came. My spirit was 
contrite before the Lord, whose love at this time 
affected iny heart. 

This afternoon I felt a tender sympathy of soul, 
with my poor wife and family left behind ; in which 
state my heart was enlarged in desires, that they 
may walk in that humble obedience wherein the 
everlasting Father may be their guide and support 
through all the difficulties in this world ; and a 
sense of that gracious assistance through which rny 
mind hath been strengthened to take up the cross 
and leave them, to travel in the love of truth, hath 
begotten thankfulness in my heart to our great 


On the twenty-fourth clay of the month,, and first 
of the week, a clear pleasant morning: and as I 
sat on deck, I felt a reviving in my nature, which, 
through much rainy weather and high winds, being 
shut up in a close unhealthy air, was weakened. 

Several nights, of late, I felt breathing difficult ; 
that a little after the rising of the second watch 
(which is about midnight) I got up, and stood, I 
believe near an hour, with my face near the hatch 
way, to get the fresh air at the small vacancy under 
the hatch-door, which is commonly shut down, 
partly to keep out rain, and sometimes to keep the 
breaking waves from dashing into the steerage. 

I may, with thankfulness to the Father of Mer - 
cies, acknowledge that, in my present weak state, 
my mind hath been supported to bear the affliction 
with patience ; and 1 have looked at the present 
dispensation as a kindness from the great Father of 
mankind, who, in this my floating pilgrimage, is in 
some degree bringing me to feel that, which many 
thousands of my fellow-creatures often suffer in a 
greater degree. 

My appetite failing, the trial hath been the hea 
vier; and I have felt tender breathings in my soul 
after God, the fountain of comfort, whose inward 
help hath supplied, at times, the want of outward 
convenience : and strong desires have attended me, 
that his family, who are acquainted with the mov- 
ings of his Holy Spirit, may be so redeemed from 
the love of money, and from that spirit in which 
men seek honour one of another, that in all busi- 
ness 3 by sea or land, we may constantly keep in 


view the coming of his kingdom on earth, as it is 
in heaven ; and, by faithfully following this safe 
guide, show forth examples tending to lead out of 
that under which the creation groans. 

This day we had a meeting in the cabin, in which 
I was favoured in some degree to experience the 
fulfilling of that saying of the prophet " The Lord 
hath been a strength to the poor, a strength to the 
needy in their distress;" for which my heart is 
bowed in thankfulness before Him. 

The twenty-eighth day of the month. Wet wea 
ther of late, small winds inclining to calms. Our 
seamen have cast a lead, I suppose about one hun 
dred fathom, but find no bottom. Foggy weather 
this morning?, 


Through the kindness of the great Preserver of 
men, my mind remains quiet ; and a degree of 
exercise from day to day attends me, that the pure 
peaceable government of Christ may spread and 
prevail amongst mankind. 

The leading on of a young generation in that 
pure way, in which the wisdom of this world hath 
no place ; where parents and tutors, humbly wait 
ing for the heavenly Counsellor, may example them 
in the truth, as it is in Jesus ; this, for several 
days, hath been the exercise of my mind. O, how 
safe, how quiet is that state, where the soul stands 
in pure obedience to the voice of Christ, and a 
watchful care is maintained, not to follow the voice 
of the stranger ! 

Here Christ is telt to be our shepherd ; and under 
his leading, people are brought to a stability : and 


where He doth not lead forward,, we are bound iu 
the bonds of pure love,, to stand still and wait upon 
Him. In the love of money, and in the wisdom of 
this world, business is proposed, then the urgency 
of affairs push forward ; nor can the mind, in this 
state, discern the good and perfect will of God con 

cerning us. 

The love of God is manifested in graciously 
calling us to come out of that which stands in con 
fusion ; but if we bow not in the name of Jesus ; if 
we give not up those prospects of gain, which, in 
the wisdom of this world, are open before us, but 
say in our hearts, te I must needs go on ;" and in 
going on, ff I hope to keep as near to the purity of 
truth as the business before me will admit of ;" 
here the mind remains entangled, and the shining 
of the light of life into the soul is obstructed. 

This query opens in my mind in the love of 
Christ : Where shall a pious father place his son 
apprentice, to be instructed in the practice of cross 
ing the seas ; and have faith to believe that Christ, 
our holy Shepherd, leads him to place his son there? 

Surely the Lord calls to mourning and deep hu 
miliation, that in his fear we may be instructed, 
and led safely on through the great difficulties and 
perplexities in this present age. 

In an entire subjection of our wills, the Lord 
graciously opens a way for his people, where all 
their wants are bounded by his wisdom : and here 
we experience the substance of what Moses the 
prophet figured out in the water of separation, as a 
purification from sin. 


Esau is mentioned as a child red all over,, like a 
hairy garment : in Esau is represented the natural 
will of man. In preparing the water of separation, 
a red heifer without blemish, on which there had 
been no yoke, was to be slain, and her blood sprin 
kled by the priest seven times toward the taber 
nacle of the congregation : then her skin, her flesh, 
and all pertaining to her, was to be burnt without 
the camp ; and of her ashes the water was prepared . 
Thus the crucifying the old man, or natural will, 
as represented ; and hence comes a separation from 
that carnal mind, which is death. 

c( He who toucheth the dead body of a man, and 
purifieth not himself with the water of separation, 
he defileth the tabernacle of the Lord ; he is un 
clean/ Numb. xix. 13. 

If any, through the love of gain, go forth into 
business, wherein they dwell as amongst the tombs, 
and touch the bodies of those who are dead ; if 
these, through the infinite love of God, feel the 
power of the cross of Christ to crucify them to the 
world, and therein learn humbly to follow the 
divine leader : here is the judgment of this world 
here the prince of this world is cast out. 

The water of separation is felt; and though we 
have been amongst the slain, and, through the 
desire of gain, have touched the dead body of a 
man; yet, in the purifying love of Christ, we are 
washed in the water of separation, are brought off 
from that business, from that gain, and from that 
fellowship, which was not agreeable to his holy 
will. And I have felt a renewed confirmation in 


the time of this voyage, that the Lord, in his infi 
nite love, is calling to his visited children, so to 
give up all outward possessions,, and means of 
getting treasures, that his Holy Spirit may have 
free course in their hearts, and direct them in all 
their proceedings. 

To feel the substance pointed at in this figure, 
man must know death, as to his own will. 

" No man can see God and live." This was 
spoken by the Almighty to Moses the prophet, and 
opened by our blessed Redeemer. 

As death comes on our own wills, arid new life is 
formed in us, the heart is purified, and prepared to 
understand clearly. " Blessed are the pure in heart, 
for they shall see God." In purity of heart, the 
mind is divinely opened to behold the nature of 
universal righteousness, or the righteousness of the 
kingdom of God. ff No man hath, seen the Father 
save he that is of God ; he hath seen the Father." 

The natural mind is active about the things of 
this life ; and in this natural activity, business is 
proposed, and a will in us to go forward in it. And 
as long as this natural will remains unsubjected, so 
long there remains an obstruction against the clear 
ness of divine light operating in us; but when we 
love God with all our heart, and with all our strength, 
then, in this love, we love our neighbours as our 
selves ; and a tenderness of heart is felt toward all 
people for whom Christ died, even such who as to 
outward circumstances may be to us as the Jews 
were to the Samaritans. Who is rny neighbour? See 
this question answered by our Saviour, Luke x. 30. 

In this love we can say, that Jesus is the Lord ; 
and the reformation in our souls, manifested in a 
full reformation of our lives, wherein all things are 
new, and all things are of God, 2 Cor. v. 18. ; in 
this the desire of gain is subjected. 

When employment is honestly followed in the 
light of truth, and people become diligent in busi 
ness, " fervent in spirit, serving the Lord." Rom. 
xii. II, here the name is opened: " This is the 
name by which he shall be called, THE LORD 
OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS/ Jer. xxiii. 6. Oh, 
how precious is this name ! It is like ointment 
poured out. The chaste virgins are in love with 
the Redeemer ; and for promoting his peaceable 
kingdom in the world, are content to endure hard 
ness like good soldiers ; and are so separated in 
spirit, from the desire of riches, that in their em 
ployments they, become extensively careful to give 
none offence, neither to Jews nor Heathen, nor to 
the church of Christ. 

On the thirty-first day of the month, and first of 
the week, we had a meeting in the cabin, with near 
all the ship s company, the whole being near thirty. 
In this meeting the Lord, in mercy, favoured us 
with the extending of his love. 

The second day of the sixth month. Last even 
ing, the seamen found bottom at about seventy 

This morning, fair wind and pleasant. And as 
I sat on deck, my heart was overcome with the love 
of Christ, and melted into contrition before him ; 
and, in this state, the prospect of that work, to 

which I have felt my mind drawn when in my 
native land, being in some degree opened before 
me, I felt like a little child ; and my cries were put 
up to my heavenly Father for preservation, that in 
an humble dependence on Him, my soul may be 
strengthened in his love,, and kept inwardly waiting 
for his counsel. 

This afternoon, we saw that part of England 
called the Lizard. 

Some dunghill fowls yet remained of those the 
passengers took for their sea-store ; I believe about 
fourteen perished in the storms at sea,, by the waves 
breaking over the quarter-deck ; and a considerable 
number with sickness, at, different times. I ob 
served the cocks crew coming down the Delaware, 
and while we were near the land ; but afterward, I 
think, I did not hear one of them crow till we came 
near the land in England, when they again crowed 
a few times. 

In observing their dull appearance at sea, and 
the pining sickness of some of them, I often remem 
bered the fountain of goodness, who gave being to 
ail creatures, and whose love extends to that of 
caring for the sparrows ; and believe, where the 
love of God is verily perfected, and the true spirit 
of government watchfully attended to, a tender 
ness toward all creatures made subject to us will 
be experienced ; and a care felt in us, that we do 
not lessen that sweetness of life, in the animal cre 
ation,, which the great Creator intends for them 
under our government. 

The fourth day of the month. Wet weather. 

high winds, and so dark that we could see but a little 
way. I perceived our seamen were apprehensive of 
danger of missing the channel,, which I understood 
was narrow. In a while, it grew lighter ; and they 
saw the land, and they knew where we were. 
Thus the Father of mercies was pleased to try us 
with the sight of dangers ; and then graciously, 
from time to time,, deliver from them : thus sparing 
our lives, that in humility and reverence we may 
walk before Him, and put our trust in Him. 

About noon a pilot came off from Dover, where 
my beloved friend Samuel Ernlen went on shore, 
and thence to London, about seventy-two miles by 
land ; but I felt easy in staying in the ship. 

The seventh day of the month, and first of the 
week. Clear morning, lay at anchor for the tide, 
and had a parting meeting with the ship s com 
pany, in which my heart was enlarged in a fervent 
concern for them, that they may come to experience 
salvation through Christ, Had a head-wind up the 
Thames ; lay sometimes at anchor ; saw many ships 
passing, and some at anchor near ; and had large 
opportunity of feeling the spirit in which the poor 
bewildered sailors too generally live. That lament 
able degeneracy, which so much prevails on the 
people employed on the seas, so affected my heart, 
that I may not easily convey the feeling I have had 
to another. 

The present state of the seafaring life in general, 
appears so opposite to that of a pious education ; 
so full of corruption, and extreme alienation from 
God ; so full of examples, the most dangerous to 


young people, that in looking toward a young ge 
neration, I feel a care for them, that they may have 
an education different from the present education of 
lads at sea; and that all of us, who are acquainted 
with the pure gospel spirit, may lay this case to 
heart, may remember the lamentable corruptions 
which attend the conveyance of merchandize across 
the seas, and so abide in the love of Christ, that 
being delivered from the love of money, from the 
entangling expenses of a curious, delicate, luxurious, 
life, we may learn contentment with a little ; and 
promote the seafaring life no further than that 
spirit, which leads into all truth, attends us in our 



His attending the yearly meeting in London-, and 
after it, proceeding towards Yorkshire, visiting 
several quarterly and other meetings in the coun 
ties of Hertford, Warwick, Oxford, Nottingham, 
York, and Westmoreland ; and thence again into 
Yorkshire, and to the city of York; with some 
instructive thoughts and observations, and letters 
on divers subjects His hearing of the decease of 
William Hunt ; and some account of him His 
sickness at York; and end of his pilgrimage 

ON the eighth day of the sixth month, 1772, we 
landed at London, and I went straightway to the 
yearly meeting of ministers and elders, which had 
been gathered (1 suppose) about half an hour. 

In this meeting, my mind was humbly contrite. 
In the afternoon, the meeting for business opened, 
which by adjournments, held near a week. In 
these meetings, I often felt a living concern for the 
establishment of friends in the pure life of truth. 
And my heart was enlarged in the meeting of 
ministers, meeting of business, and in several meet 
ings for public worship; and I felt my mind united 
in true love, to the faithful labourers now gathered 
at this yearly meeting. 



On the fifteenth day of the month, I left London, 
and went to a quarterly meeting at Hertford. 

The first day of the seventh month. I have been 
at quarterly meetings at Sherrington, Northamp 
ton, Banbury, and Shipston ; and had sundry meet 
ings between. My mind hath been bowed under a 
sense of divine goodness manifested amongst us ; 
my heart hath been often enlarged in true love, both 
amongst ministers and elders, and in public meet 
ings ; that through the Lord s goodness, I believe 
it hath been a fresh visitation to many, in particular 
to the youth. 

The seventeenth day of the month. Was this 
day at Birmingham : have been at meetings at Co 
ventry, Warwick, in Oxfordshire, and sundry other 
places, have felt the humbling hand of the Lord 
upon me ; and through his tender mercies find peace 
in the labours I have gone through. 

The twenty-sixth day of the month. I have con 
tinued travelling northward, visiting meetings. 
Was this day at Nottingham, which in the forenoon 
especially, was through divine love, a heart-tender 
ing season. Next day had. a meeting in a friend s 
house with friends children and some friends ; this, 
through the strengthening arm of the Lord, was a 
time to be thankfully remembered. 

The second day of the eighth month, and first of 
the week, was this day at Sheffield, a large inland 
town. Have been at sundry meetings last week, 
and feel inward thankfulness for that divine sup 
port, which hath been graciously extended to me. 
The ninth day of the month and the first of the 

week, was at Rush worth. Have lately passed 
through some painful labour ; but have been com 
forted under a sense of that divine visitation,, which 
I feel extended toward many young people. 

The sixteenth day of the month, and first of the 
week, was at Settle. It hath of late been a time of 
inward poverty ; under which, my mind hath been 
preserved in a watchful tender state, feeling for the 
mind of the holy Leader, arid find peace in the 
labours I have passed through. 

On inquiry, in many places, I find the price of 
rye about five shillings, wheat about eight shillings, 
per bushel ; oatmeal twelve shillings for a hundred 
and twenty pounds ; mutton from threepence to 
fivepence per pound ; bacon from sevenpence to 
ninepence ; cheese from fourpence to sixpence ; but 
ter from eightpence to tenpence ; house-rent, for a 
poor man, from twenty-five shillings to forty shil 
lings per year, to be paid weekly ; wood for fire 
very scarce and dear ; coal in some places, two 
shillings and sixpence per hundred weight ; but 
near the pits not a quarter so much. O may the 
wealthy consider the poor ! 

The wages of labouring men, in several counties 
toward London, is tenpence per day in common 
business, the employer finds small beer, and the la 
bourer finds his own food ; but in harvest and hay 
time, wages are about one shilling per day, and the 
labourer hath all his diet. In some parts of the 
north of England, poor labouring men have their 
food where they work, and appear, in common, to do 
rather better than nearer London. Industrious wo- 


men, who spin in the factories get some fourpence, 
some fivepence, and so on to six, seven, eight, nine 
or tenpence per day, and find their own house-room 
and diet. Great numbers of poor people live chiefly 
on bread and water, in the southern parts of Eng 
land, and some in the northern parts ; and there 
are many poor children not taught even to read. 
May those who have plenty, lay these things to 
heart ! 

Stage coaches frequently go upwards of an hun 
dred miles in twenty-four hours ; and I have heard 
friends say, in several places, that it is common for 
horses to be killed with hard driving, and many 
others driven till they grow blind. 

Postboys pursue their business, each one to his 
stage, all night through the winter. Some boys, 
who ride long stages, suffer greatly on winter nights, 
and at several places, I have heard of their being 
frozen to death. So great is the hurry in the spirit 
of this world, that in aiming to do business quickly, 
and to gain wealth, the creation, at this day, doth 
loudly groan ! 

As my journey hath been without a horse, I have 
had several offers of being assisted on my way in 
these stage coaches, but have not been in them : 
nor have I had freedom to send letters by these 
posts, in the present way of their riding; the stages 
being so fixed, and one boy dependent on another, 
as to time, that they commonly go upwards of one 
hundred miles in twenty-four hours ; and in cold 
long winter nights, the poor boys suffer much. 
I heard in America of the way of these posts ; 


and cautioned friends in the general meeting of mi 
nisters and elders at Philadelphia, and in the yearly 
meeting of ministers and elders at London, not to 
send letters to me on any common occasion by 
post. And though, on this account, I may be 
likely to hear seldomer from my family left behind ; 
yet for righteousness sake, I arn, through divine 
favour made content. 

1 have felt great distress of mind, since I came on 
this island, on account of the members of our so 
ciety being mixed with the world in various sorts 
of business and traffic, carried on in impure chan 
nels. Great is the trade to Africa for slaves ! and in 
loading these ships, abundance of people are em 
ployed in their factories ; amongst whom are many 
of our society. Friends, in early times, refused on a 
religious principle, to make our trade in superflui 
ties ; of which, we have many large testimonies on 
record : but for want of faithfulness, some gave 
way ; even some, whose examples were of note in 
our society ; and from thence others took more 
liberty. Members of our society worked in super 
fluities, and bought and sold them ; and thus dim 
ness of sight came over many : at length, friends 
got into the use of some superfluities in dress, and in 
the furniture of their houses ; and this hath spread 
from less to more, till superfluity of some Hinds is 
common amongst us. 

In this declining state, many look at the exam 
ple one of another, and too much neglect the pure 
feeling of truth. Of late years, a deep exercise hath 


attended my mind, that friends may dig deep, may 
carefully cast forth the loose matter., and get down 
to the Rock, the sure foundation, arid there hearken 
to that divine voice which gives a clear and certain 
sound ; and I have felt in that which doth not de 
ceive, that if friends, who have known the truth, 
keep in that tenderness of heart, where all views 
of outward gain are given up, and their trust is only 
on the Lord, he will graciously lead some to be 
patterns of deep self-denial in things relating to 
trade and handicraft labour : and that some, who 
have plenty of the treasures of this world, will ex 
ample in a plain frugal life, and pay wages to such 
whom they may hire, more liberally than is now 
customary in some places. 

The twenty-third day of the month, was this day 
at Preston Patrick, and had a comfortable meeting. 
I have several times been entertained at the houses 
of friends, who had sundry things about them 
which had the appearance of outward greatnesss ; 
and as I have kept inward, way hath opened for 
conversation with such in private, in which divine 
goodness hath favoured us together, with heart- 
tendering times. 

The twenty-sixth day of the month. Being now 
at George Crossfield s, in the county of Westmore 
land, I feel a concern to commit to writing, that 
which to me hath been a case uncommon. 

In a time of sickness with the pleurisy, a little 
upward of two years and a half ago, I was brought 
so near the gates of death, that I forgot my name. 


Being 1 then desirous to know who I was, I saw a 
mass of matter of a dull gloomy colour, between the 
south and the east; and was informed that this 
mass was human beings in as great misery as they 
could be, and live, and that I was mixed with them, 
and that henceforth I might not consider myself as 
a distinct or separate being. In this state I re 
mained several hours. I then heard a soft melodi 
ous voice, more pure and harmonious than any I 
had heard with my ears before; I believed it was 
the voice of an angel, who spake to the other an 
gels : the words were " John Woolman is dead." 
I soon remembered that I once was John Woolrnan, 
and being assured that I was alive in the body, I 
greatly wondered what that heavenly voice could 

I believed beyond doubting that it was the voice 
of an holy angel, but as yet it was a mystery to me. 

I was then carried in spirit to the mines, where 
poor oppressed people were digging rich treasures 
for those called Christians ; and heard them blas 
pheme the name of Christ, at which I was grieved; 
for his name to me was precious. 

Then I was informed that these heathens were 
told, that those who oppressed them were the fol 
lowers of Christ ; and they said amongst themselves, 
if Christ directed them to use us in this sort, then 
Christ is a cruel tyrant. 

All this time the song of the angel remained a 
mystery; and in the morning, my dear wife and 
some others coming to my bedside, I asked them 

if they knew who I was ; and they telling me I 
was John Woolman, thought I was light-headed : 
for I told them not what the angel said, nor was I 
disposed to talk much to any one, but was very de- 
sirious to get so deep, that I might understand this 

My tongue was often so dry, that I could not 
speak till I had moved it about and gathered some 
moisture, and as I lay still for a time, at length I 
felt divine power prepare rny mouth that I could 
speak ; and then I said, " I am crucified with Christ, 
nevertheless I live ; yet not I, but Christ that liveth 
in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, is by 
faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave 
himself for me." 

Then the mystery was opened, and I perceived 
there was joy in heaven over a sinner who had re 
pented ; and that that language (John Woolman 
is dead) meant no more than the death of my own 

Soon after this I coughed, and raised much 
bloody matter, which I had not done during this 
vision. And now my natural understanding returned 
as before. Here I saw, that people s getting silver 
vessels to set off their tables at entertainments, was 
often stained with worldly glory ; and that in the 
present state of things, I should take heed how I fed 
myself from out of silver vessels. 

Soon after my recovery, I, going to our monthly 
meeting, dined at a friend s house where drink was 
brought in silver vessels, and not in any other ; 


and I, wanting some drink, told him my case with 
weeping. And he ordered some drink for me in 
another vessel. 

The like I afterwards went through in several 
friends houses in America, and have also in Eng 
land, since I came here ; and have cause, with hum 
ble reverence, to acknowledge the loving kindness 
of my heavenly Father, who hath preserved me in 
such a tender frame of mind, that none, I believe, 
have ever been offended at what I have said on that 

After this sickness, I spake not in public meet 
ings for worship for near one year ; but my mind 
was very often in company with the oppressed 
slaves, as I sat in meetings : and though, under this 
dispensation, I was shut up from speaking, yet the 
spring of the gospel ministry was, many times, liv- 
ingly opened in me, and the divine gift operated 
by abundance of weeping, in feeling the oppression 
of this people. It being so long since I passed 
through this dispensation, and the matter remain 
ing fresh and livingly in my mind, I believe it safest 
for me to commit it to writing. 

The thirtieth day of the month. This morning 
I wrote a letter, in substance as follows : 

" Beloved friend, 

" MY mind is often affected as I pass along, under 
a sense of the state of many poor people,, who sit 
under that sort of ministry which requires much 
outward labour to support it ; and the loving-kind 
ness of our heavenly Father, in opening a pure 


gospel ministry in this nation, hath often raised 
thankfulness in my heart to Him. I often remem 
ber the conflicts of the faithful under persecution, 
and now look at the free exercise of the pure gift 
uninterrupted by outward laws, as a trust commit 
ted to us ; which requires our deepest gratitude, 
and most careful attention. I feel a tender concern, 
that the work of reformation, so prosperously car 
ried on in this land within a few ages past, may go 
forward and spread amongst the nations ; and may 
not go backward, through dust gathering on our 
garments, who have been called to a work so great 
and so precious. 

a Last evening I had a little opportunity at thy 
house, with some of thy family, in thy absence, in 
which I rejoiced; and feeling a sweetness on my 
mind toward thee, I now endeavour to open a little 
of the feeling I had there. 

" I have heard that you in these parts, have at 
certain seasons, meetings of conference, in relation 
to friends living up to our principles, in which 
several meetings unite in one, with which I feel 
unity. I having, in some measure, felt truth lead 
that way amongst friends in America; and have 
found, my dear friend, that in these labours all su 
perfluities in our own living, are against us. I feel 
that pure love toward thee, in which there is free 

" I look at that precious gift bestowed on thee, 
with awfulness before Him who gave it ; and feel a 
care, that we may be so separated to the gospel of 


Christ,, that those things ^hich proceed from the 
spirit of this world^ may have no place amongst us; 

" Thy friend, 


I rested a few days, in body and mind,, with our 
friend Jane Crossfield ; who was once in America. 
Was on the sixth day of the week at Kendal in 
Westmoreland ; and atGreyrig meeting the thirtieth 
day of the month., and first of the week. 

I have known poverty of late, and been graciously 
supported to keep in the patience : and am thankful,, 
under a sense of the goodness of the Lord toward 
those that are of a contrite spirit. 

The sixth day of the ninth month, and first of the 
week, was this day at Counterside ; a large meeting 
house, and very full. And through the opening of 
pure love, it was a strengthening time to me, and (I 
believe) to many more, 

The thirteenth day of the month. Was tnis day 
at Leyburn, a small meeting ; but the town s peo 
ple coming in, the house was crowded. It was a 
time of heavy labour, and (I believe) was a profit 
able meeting. 

At this place I heard that my kinsman William 
Hunt from North Carolina, who was on a religious 
visit to friends in England, departed this life on the 
ninth day of the nine month, instant, of the small 
pox, at Newcastle. He appeared in the ministry 
when a youth, and his labours therein were of good 
savour. He travelled much in that work in Ame 
rica. I once heard him say in public testimony, 


(hat his concern was (in that visit) to be devoted to 
the service of Christ so fully,, that he might not 
spend one minute in pleasing himself; which words 
joined with his example, was a means of stirring up 
the pure mind in me. 

Having of late travelled often in wet weather, 
through narrow streets in towns and villages, where 
dirtiness under foot, and the scent arising from that 
filth, which more or less infects the air of all thick 
settled towns, were disagreeable ; and I being but 
weakly, have felt distress both in body and mind 
with that which is impure. 

In these journies I have been where much cloth 
hath been dyed ; and sundry times walked over 
ground where much of their dye-stuffs have drained 

Here I have felt a longing in my mind, that 
people might come into cleanness of spirit, clean 
ness of person, cleanness about their houses and 

Some who are great carry delicacy to a great 
height themselves, and yet the real cleanliness is 
not generally promoted. Dyes being invented 
partly to please the eye, and partly to hide dirt, I 
have felt in this weak state, travelling in dirtiness 
and affected with unwholesome scents, a strong de 
sire that the nature of dyeing cloth to hide dirt may 
be more fully considered. 

To hide dirt in our garments, appears opposite 
to real cleanliness. 

To wash garments and keep them sweet, this ap 
pears cleanly. 


Through giving way to hiding dirt in our gar 
ments, a spirit which would cover that which is dis 
agreeable is strengthened. 

Real cleanness becometh a holy people ; but 
hiding that which is not clean by colouring our 
garments, appears contrary to the sweetness of sin 

Through some sorts of dyes, cloth is less useful. 
And if the value of dye stuffs, the expense of dyeing, 
and the damage done to cloth, were all added to 
gether, and that expense applied to keep all sweet 
and clean, how much more cleanly would people be. 
On this visit to England, I have felt some instruc 
tions sealed on my mind, which I am concerned 
to leave in writing, for the use of such as are 
called to the station of a minister of Christ. 

Christ being the Prince of peace, and we being 
no more than ministers, I (hid it necessary for us, 
not only to feel a concern in our first going forth, 
but to experience the renewing thereof, in the ap 
pointment of meetings. 

1 felt a concern in America, to prepare for this 
voyage; and being through the mercy of God, 
brought safe here, rny heart was like a vessel that 
wanted vent ; and for several weeks at first, when 
my mouth was opened in meetings, it often felt 
like the raising of a gate in a water-course, where a 
weight of water lay upon it, and in these labours 
there appeared a fresh visitation to many, espe 
cially the youth: but sometimes after this, I felt 
empty and poor, and yet felt a necessity to appoint 


In this state I was exercised to abide in the pure 
life of truth, and in all rny labours to watch dili 
gently against the motions of self in my own 

I have frequently felt a necessity to stand up, 
when the spring of the ministry was low, and to 
speak from the necessity, in that which subjecteth 
the will of the creature ; and herein I was united 
with the suffering seed, and found inward sweetness 
in these mortifying labours. 

As I have been preserved in a watchful attention 
to the divine leader, under these dispensations, en 
largement at times hath followed, and the power of 
truth hath risen higher in some meetings, than 1 ever 
knew it before through me. 

Thus I have been more and more instructed, as 
to the necessity of depending, not upon a concern 
which I felt in America, to come on a visit to Eng 
land ; but upon the fresh instructions of Christ, the 
Prince of peace, from day to day. 

Now of late, 1 felt a stop in the appointment of 
meetings, not wholly, but in part ; and I do not feel 
liberty to appoint them so quick one after another 
as I have heretofore. 

The work of the ministry, being a work of divine 
love, 1 feel that the openings thereof are to be waited 
for in all our appointments. 

Oh how deep is divine wisdom ! Christ puts forth 
his ministers, and goeth before them; and oh how 
great is the danger of departing from the pure feel 
ing of that which leadeth safely ! 

Christ knoweth the state of the people, and in the 


pure feeling of the gospel ministry, their states are 
opened to his servants. 

Christ knoweth when the fruit-bearing branches 
themselves have need of purging. 

Oh; that these lessons may be remembered by 
me ! and that all who appoint meetings may pro 
ceed in the pure feeling of duty ! 

I have sometimes felt a necessity to stand up, 
but that spirit which is of the world hath so much 
prevailed in many,, and the pure life of truth been 
so pressed down,, that I have gone forward, not as 
one travelling in a road cast up arid well prepared, 
but as a man walking through a miry place,, in 
which are stones here and there,, safe to step on, but 
so situated that one step being taken, time is ne 
cessary to see where to step next. 

Now I find that, in the pure obedience, the mind 
learns contentment, in appearing weak and foolish 
to that wisdom which is of the world ; and in these 
lowly labours, they who stand in a low place, 
rightly exercised under the cross, will find nourish 

The gift is pure ; and while the eye is single in 
attending thereto, the understanding is preserved 
clear ; self is kept out. We rejoice in filling up that 
which remains of the afflictions of Christ, for his 
body s sake, which is the church. 

The natural man loveth eloquence, and many 
love to hear eloquent orations; and, if there is not 
a careful attention to the gift, men who have once 
laboured in the pure gospel ministry, growing weary 
of suffering, and ashamed of appearing weak, may 


kindle a fire., compass themselves about with sparks, 
and walk in the light ; not of Christ who is under 
suffering,, but of that fire which they, going from the 
gift,, have kindled : and that in hearers, which is 
gone from the meek,, suffering, state into the worldly 
wisdom, may be warmed with this fire, and speak 
highly of these labours. That which is of God 
gathers to God ; and that which is of the world is 
owned by the world. 

In this journey a labour hath attended my mind, 
that the ministers amongst us may be preserved,, in 
the meek, feeling, life of truth, where we may have 
no desire but to follow Christ and be with him ; that 
when he is under suffering we may suffer with him ; 
and never desire to rise up in dominion, but as he, 
by the virtue of his own spirit, may raise us. 

A FEW days after writing these considerations, 
our dear friend, in the course of his religious visits, 
came to the city of York, and attended most of the 
sittings of the quarterly meeting there ; but before 
it was over, was taken ill of the small-pox. Our 
friend Thomas Priestman, and others who attended 
him, preserved the following minutes of his ex 
pressions in the time of his sickness, and of his 

First day, the 27th of the ninth month, 1772. 
His disorder appeared to be the small-pox* Being 
asked to have a doctor s advice, he signified he had 
not freedom or liberty in his mind so to do, stand 
ing wholly resigned to his will, who gave him life, 


- -,-r f > fl-f i ^ ? " 

and whose power he had witnessed to raise and heal 
him in sickness before, when he seemed nigh unto 
death ; and if he was to wind up now, he was per 
fectly resigned, having no will either to live or die, 
and did not choose any should be sent for to him : 
but a young man, an apothecary,, coming of his own 
accord the next day, and desiring to do something 
for him, he said he found a freedom to confer with 
him and the other friends about him, and if any 
thing should be proposed as to medicine, that did 
not come through defiled channels or oppressive 
hands, he should be willing to consider and take it, 
so far as he found freedom. 

Second day. He said he felt the disorder to af 
fect his head, so that he could think little, and 
but as a child; and desired, if his understanding 
should be more affected, to have nothing given him 
that those about him knew he had a testimony 

Third day. He uttered the following prayer: 
ec O Lord, my God, the amazing horrors of darkness 
were gathered around me and covered me all over, 
and I saw no way to go forth ; I felt the depth and 
extent of the misery of my fellow-creatures sepa 
rated from the divine harmony, and it was heavier 
than I could bear, and I was crushed down under 
it ; I lifted up my hand, I stretched out my arm, but 
there was none to help me; I looked roundabout, 
and was amazed. In the depths of misery, O Lord ! 
I remembered that thou art omnipotent ; that I had 
called thee Father; and I felt that I loved thee, and 
I was made quiet in thy will, and I waited fordeli- 



verance from thee. Thou hadst pity upon me when 
no man could help me ; I saw that meekness under 
suffering* was showed to us in the most affecting 
example of thy Son, and thou taught me to follow 
him, and I said, " Thy will, O Father, be done !" 

Fourth-day morning, being asked how he felt 
himself, he meekly answered, I don t know that I 
have slept this night ; I feel the disorder making its 
progress, but my mind is mercifully preserved in 
stillness and peace. Some time after, he said he 
was sensible the pains of death must be hard to 
bear, but if he escaped them now, he must sometime 
pass through them, and he did not know that he 
could be better prepared, but had no will in it. He 
said he had settled his outward affairs to his mind, 
had taken leave of his wife and family as never to 
return, leaving them to the divine protection ; 
adding, Cf though I feel them near to me at this 
time, yet I freely give them up, having a hope that 
they will be provided for." And a little after said, 
e This trial is made easier than I could have thought, 
my will being wholly taken away; for if I was 
anxious for the event it would have been harder, 
but I am not, and my mind enjoys a perfect calm/ 

In the night, a young woman having given him 
something to drink, he said, {C My child, thou seem- 
est very kind to me a poor creature, the Lord will 
reward thee for it." A while after he cried out, 
with great earnestness of spirit, " Oh, my Father! 
my Father!" and soon after he said, (f Oh, my 
Father! my Father! how comfortable art thou to 
my soul in this trying season!" Being asked if he 


could take a little nourishment,, after some pause, 
he replied, <{ My child, I cannot tell what to say to 
it; I seem nearly arrived where my soul shall have 
rest from all its troubles/ After giving in some 
thing to be inserted in his journal, he said, "I believe 
the Lord will now excuse me from exercises of this 
kind ; and I see no work but one, which is to be 
the last wrought by rne in this world ; the messen 
ger will come that will release me from all these 
troubles, but it must be in the Lord s time, which 
I am waiting for." He said he had laboured to do 
whatever was required, according to the ability 
received, in the remembrance of which he had 
peace ; and though the disorder was strong at times, 
and would like a whirlwind come over his mind, 
yet it had hitherto been kept steady, and centered 
in everlasting love; adding, and if that be merci 
fully continued, I ask nor desire no more. Another 
time he said, he had long had a view of visiting 
this nation, arid sometime before he came had a 
dream, in which he saw himself in the northern 
parts of it, and that the spring of the gospel was 
opened in him much as in the beginning of friends, 
such as George Fox and William Dewsbury, and 
he saw the different states of the people, as clear as 
he had ever seen flowers in a garden ; but in his 
going along he was suddenly stopped, though he 
could not see for what end ; but looking towards 
home, fell into a flood of tears, which waked him. 

At another time he said, ef My draught seemed 
strongest towards the North, and I mentioned in 
my own monthly meeting, that attending the quar- 


terly meeting at York, and being there looked like 
home to me." 

Fifth-day night, having repeatedly consented to 
take medicine with a view to settle his stomach, but 
without effect ; the friend then waiting on him said, 
through distress, What shall I do now ? He an 
swered, with great composure, " Rejoice evermore, 
and in every thing give thanks;" but added a little 
after, fC This is sometimes hard to come at." 

Sixth-day morning he broke forth early in sup 
plication on this wise : " O Lord, it was thy power 
that enabled me to forsake sin in my youth, and I 
have felt thy bruises for disobedience ; but as I 
bowed under them thou healedst me, continuing a 
father and a friend ; I feel thy power now, and I 
beg that in the approaching trying moment Thou 
wilt keep my heart steadfast unto thee." Upon his 
giving directions to a friend concerning some little 
things, she said, " I will take care, but hope thou wilt 
live to order them thyself? He replied, fc My hope 
is in Christ, and though I may seern a little better, 
a change in the disorder may soon happen, and my 
little strength be dissolved, and if it so happens, I 
shall be gathered to my everlasting rest." On her 
saying she did not doubt that, but could not help 
mourning to see so many faithful servants removed 
at so low a time, he said, cc All good cometh from the 
Lord, whose power is the same, and can work as He 
sees best." The same day he had given directions 
about wrapping his corpse; perceiving a friend to 
weep, he said, <f I would rather thou wouldst guard 
against weeping for me, my sister ; I sorrow not, 


though I have had some painful conflicts, but now 
they seem over and matters well settled, and I look 
at the face of my dear Redeemer, for sweet is his 
voice, and his countenance is comely/ 

First-day, fourth of the tenth month, being very 
weak, and in general difficult to be understood, he 
uttered a few words in commemoration of the Lord s 
goodness ; and added, " How tenderly have I been 
waited on in this time of affliction, in which I may 
say, in Job s words, Tedious days and wearisome 
nights are appointed unto me ; and how many are 
spending their time and money in vanity and super- 
iluities, while thousands and tens of thousands want 
the necessaries of life, who might be relieved by 
them; and their distresses, at such a time as this, 
in some degree softened by the administering suit 
able things." 

Second-day morning, the apothecary, who ap 
peared very anxious to assist him, being present, 
he queried about the probability of such a load of 
matter being thrown off his weak body, and the 
apothecary making some remarks, implying he 
thought it might; he spoke with an audible voice 
on this wise : " My dependence is on the Lord Jesus, 
who I trust will forgive my sins, which is all I hope 
for; and, if it be his will to raise up this body 
again, I am content ; and if to die, I am resigned ; 
and if thou canst not be easy without trying to 
assist nature, I submit." After which, his throat was 
so much affected, that it was very difficult for him 
to speak so as to be understood, and he frequently 
wrote when he wanted any thing. About the se- 


cond hour on the fourth-day morning, he asked for 
pen and ink, and at several times,, with much diffi 
culty, wrote thus: (f I believe my being here is in 
the wisdom of Christ ; I know not as to life or 

About a quarter before six, the same morning, he 
seemed to fall into an easy sleep, which continued 
about half an hour, when, seeming to awake, he 
breathed a few times with more difficulty, and ex 
pired without sigh, groan, or struggle. 













Recommended to the Professors of Christianity of 
every Denomination. 

[First Printed in the Year 1754.] 



CUSTOMS generally approved, and opinions re 
ceived by youth from their superiors, become, like 
the natural produce of a soil, especially when 
they are suited to favourite inclinations ; but, as 
the judgments of God are without partiality, by 
which the state of the soul must be tried, it would 
be the highest wisdom to forego customs and popu 
lar opinions, and try the treasures of the soul by 
the infallible standard, truth. 

Natural affection needs a careful examination. 
Operating upon us in a soft manner, it kindles de 
sires of love and tenderness,, and there is danger of 
taking it for something higher. To me it appears 
an instinct like that which inferior creatures have ; 
each of them, we see, by the ties of nature, love 
self best ; that which is a part of self, they love by 
the same tie or instinct. In them, it, in some mea- 


sure, does the offices of reason by which, among 
other things, they watchfully keep and orderly feed 
their helpless offspring. Thus natural affection 
appears to be a branch of self-love, good in the ani 
mal race, in us likewise with proper limitations ; 
but otherwise is productive of evil, by exciting 
desires to promote some by means prejudicial to 

Our blessed Saviour seems to give a check to this 
irregular fondness in nature, and, at the same time, 
a precedent for us : " Who is my mother, and who 
are my brethren?" thereby intimating, that the 
earthly ties of relationship are, comparatively in 
considerable to such, who, through a steady course 
of obedience, have come to the happy experience of 
the Spirit of God bearing witness with their spirits 
that they are his children : C( And he stretched forth 
his hand towards his disciples, and said, Behold my 
mother, and my brethren : for whosoever shall do 
the will of my Father which is in heaven/ (arrives 
at the more noble part of true relationship,) cc the 
same is my brother, and sister, and mother," 
Matt. xii. 49. 

This doctrine agrees well with a state truly com 
plete, where love necessarily operates according to 
the agreeableness of things on principles unalterable 
and in themselves perfect. 

If endeavouring to have my children eminent 
amongst men after my death, be that which no rea 
sons grounded on these principles can be brought 
to support ; then to be temperate in rny pursuit 
after gain, and to keep always within the bounds of 


these principles, is an indispensable duty, and to 
depart from it, a dark, unfruitful toil. 

In our present condition, to love our children is 
needful ; but except this love proceeds from the 
true heavenly principle which sees beyond earthly 
treasures, it will rather be injurious than of any real 
advantage to them. Where the fountain is corrupt, 
the streams must necessarily be impure. 

That important injunction of our Saviour, (Matt, 
vi. 33.) with the promise annexed, contains a short 
but comprehensive view of our duty and happiness. 
If then the business of mankind in this life is, to first 
seek another ; if this cannot be done, but by attend 
ing to the means ; if a summary of the means is, not 
to do that to another which, in like circumstances, 
we would riot have done unto us, then these are 
points of moment, and worthy of our most serious 

What I write on this subject is with reluctance, 
and the hints given are in as general terms as my 
concern would allow. I know it is a point about 
which, in all its branches, men that appear to aim 
well are not generally agreed ; and, for that reason, 
I chose to avoid being very particular. If I may 
happily have let drop any thing that may excite such 
as are concerned in the practice to a close thinking 
on the subject treated of, the candid amongst them 
may easily do the subject such further justice, as, on 
an impartial inquiry, it may appear to deserve; and 
such an inquiry I would earnestly recommend. 



" Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my 
brethren, ye have done it unto me ." MATT. xxv. 40. 

As many times there are different motives to the 
same actions ; and one does that from a generous 
heart, which another does for selfish ends ; the like 
may be said in this case. 

There are various circumstances among them 
that keep negroes, and different ways by which they 
fall under their care ; and I doubt not, there are 
many well-disposed persons amongst them who de 
sire rather to manage wisely and justly in this diffi 
cult matter, than to make gain of it. 

13 ut the general disadvantage which these poor 
Africans lie under in an enlightened Christian coun 
try, having often filled me with real sadness, and 
been like undigested matter on my mind, I now 
think it my duty, through divine aid, to offer some 
thoughts thereon to the consideration of others. 

When we remember that all nations are of one 
blood, Gen. iii. 20. that in this world we are but 
sojourners, that we are subject to the like afflictions 
and infirmities of body, the like disorders and frail 
ties of mind, the like temptations, the same death, 
and the same judgment,, and, that the allwise Being 


is Judge and Lord over us all, it seems to raise an 
idea of a general brotherhood, and a disposition 
easy to be touched with a feeling of each other s 
afflictions ; but when we forget these things, and 
look chiefly at our outward circumstances, in this 
and some ages past, constantly retaining in our 
minds the distinction betwixt us and them, with 
respect to our knowledge and improvement in 
things divine, natural and artificial, our breasts 
being apt to be filled with fond notions of superi 
ority, there is danger of erring in our conduct to 
ward them. 

We allow them to be of the same species with 
ourselves, the odds is, we are in a higher station,, 
and enjoy greater favours than they. And when it 
is thus, that our heavenly Father endoweth some 
of his children with distinguished gifts, they are in 
tended for good ends ; but if those thus gifted are 
thereby lifted up above their brethren, not consider 
ing themselves as debtors to the weak, nor behav 
ing themselves as faithful stewards, none who 
judge impartially can suppose them free from in 

When a people dwell under the liberal distribu- 
tion of favours from heaven, it behoves them care 
fully to inspect their ways, and consider the pur 
poses for which those favours were bestowed, lest 
through forgetfulness of God, and misusing his gifts, 
they incur his heavy displeasure, whose judgments 
are just and equal, who exalteth and humbleth to 
the dust as He seeth meet. 

It appears by holy record, that men under high 


favours have been apt to err in their opinions con 
cerning others. Thus Israel, according to the de 
scription of the prophet, Isa. Ixv. 5. when exceed 
ingly corrupted and degenerated,, yet remembered 
they were the chosen people of God ; and could 
say, ce Stand by thyself, come not near to me, for I 
am holier than .thou." That this was no chance 
language, but their common opinion of other peo 
ple, more fully appears, by considering the circum 
stances which attended, when God was beginning to 
fulfil his precious promises concerning the gathering 
of the Gentiles. 

The Most High, in a vision, undeceived Peter ; 
first, prepared his heart to believe ; and, at the 
house of Cornelius, showed him of a certainty that 
God was no respecter of persons. 

The effusion of the Holy Ghost upon a people, 
with whom they, the Jewish Christians, would not 
so much as eat, was strange to them. All they of 
the circumcision were astonished to see it ; and the 
apostles and brethren of Judea contended with 
Peter about it, till he, having rehearsed the whole 
matter, and fully shown that the Father s love was 
unlimited, they were thereat struck with admiration, 
and cried out, " Then hath God also to the Gentiles 
granted repentance unto life!" 

The opinion of peculiar favours being confined to 
them, was deeply rooted, or else the above instance 
had been less strange to them, for these reasons : 
First, They were generally acquainted with the 
writings of the prophets, by whom this time was 
repeatedly spoken of, and pointed at. Secondly, 


Our blessed Lord shortly before, expressly said,, 
"Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold, 
them also I must bring/ &c. Lastly, His words 
to them after his resurrection, at the very time of 
his ascension, cc Ye shall be witnessess unto me, 
both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Sa 
maria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." 
Acts i. 8. 

These concurring circumstances, one would 
think, might have raised a strong expectation of 
seeing such a time ; yet when it came, it proved 
matter of offence and astonishment. 

To consider mankind otherwise than brethren, to 
think favours are peculiar to one nation, and ex 
clude others, plainly supposes a darkness in the 
understanding ; for as God s love is universal, so 
where the mind is sufficiently influenced by it, it 
begets a likeness of itself, and the heart is enlarged 
towards all men. Again, to conclude a people frow- 
ard, perverse, and worse by nature than others 
(who ungratefully receive favours, and apply them to 
bad ends) this will excite a behaviour toward them 
unbecoming the excellence of true religion. 

To prevent such error, let us calmly consider 
their circumstance ; and, the better to do it, make 
their case ours. Suppose, then, that our ancestors 
and we had been exposed to constant servitude, in 
the more servile and inferior employments of life ; 
that we had been destitute of the help of reading 
and good company; that amongst ourselves we had 
few wise and pious instructors ; that the religious 
amongst our superiors seldom took notice of us; 


that while others/ in ease, have plentifully heaped 
up the fruit of our labour, we had received barely 
enough to relieve nature ; and being wholly at the 
command of others, had generally been treated as a 
contemptible, ignorant,, part of mankind ; should we, 
in that case, be less abject than they now are ? 
Again, if oppression be so hard to bear, that a wise 
man is made mad by it, Eccl. vii. 7. then a series 
of those things altering the behaviour and manners 
of a people, is what may reasonably be expected. 

When our property is taken contrary to our 
mind, by means appearing to us unjust, it is only 
through divine influence, and the enlargement of 
heart from thence proceeding, that we can love our 
reputed oppressors. If the Negroes fall short in this, 
an uneasy, if not a disconsolate disposition, will be 
awakened, and remain like seeds in their minds, 
producing sloth and many other habits appearing 
odious to us ; with which, being freemen, they per 
haps, had not been chargeable. These, and other 
circumstances, rightly considered, will lessen that 
too great disparity which some make between us 
and them. 

Integrity of heart hath appeared in some of them, 
so that if we continue in the word of Christ (pre 
vious to discipieship, John viii. 31.) and our con 
duct towards them be seasoned with his love, we 
may hope to see the good effect of it : the which, in 
a good degree, is the case with some into whose 
hands they have fallen ; but that too many treat 
them otherwise, not seeming conscious of any neg 
lect is, alas ! too evident, 


When self-love presides in our minds, our opi 
nions are biassed in our own favour. In this condi 
tion., being concerned with a people so situated, that 
they have no voice to plead their own cause,, there is 
danger of using ourselves to an undisturbed par 
tiality, till, by long custom,, the mind becomes re 
conciled with it, and the judgment itself infected. 

To humbly apply to God for wisdom, that we 
may thereby be enabled to see things as they are, 
and ought to be, is very needful ; hereby the hidden 
things of darkness may be brought to light, and the 
judgment made clear : we shall then consider man 
kind as brethren. Though different degrees, and 
a variety of qualifications and abilities, one depen 
dent on another, be admitted ; yet high thoughts 
will be laid aside, and all men treated as becometh 
the sons of one father, agreeable to the doctrine of 
Christ Jesus. 

He hath laid down the best criterion, by which 
mankind ought to judge of their own conduct, and 
others judge for them of theirs, one towards ano 
ther, viz. " Whatsoever you would that men should 
do to you, do ye even so to them." I take it, that 
all men by nature, are equally entitled to the equity 
of this rule, and under the indispensable obligations 
of it. One man ought not to look upon another 
man, or society of men, as so far beneath him ; but 
that he should put himself in their place, in all his 
actions towards them, and bring all to this test, viz. 
How should I approve of this conduct, were I in 
their circumstance, and they in mine?" A. Arscot s 
Considerations, p. iii. fol. 107. 



This doctrine being of a moral unchangeable na 
ture, hath been likewise inculcated in the former 
dispensation ; fC If a stranger sojojjrn_with Jthee, in 

that dwelleth with^^you, shall be as jcm 
amongst you, and thou sjbialt love him as^hy^lf/^ 

Lev. xix. 33, 34. Had these people come volunta-*" 
rily and dwelt amongst us, to have called them 
strangers would be proper ; and their being brought 
by force, with regret, and a languishing mind, may 
well raise compassion in a heart rightly disposed ; 
but there is nothing in such treatment, which upon 
a wise and judicious consideration, will in any wise 
lessen their right of being treated as strangers. If the 
treatment which many of them meet with, be rightly 
examined and compared with these precepts, cc Thou 
shalt not vex him nor oppress him ; he shall be as 
one born amongst you, and thou shalt love him 
as thyself." Lev. xix 33. Deut. xxvii. 19. there 
will appear an important difference betwixt them. 

It may be objected there is cost of purchase, and 
risque of their lives to them who possess them, and 
therefore needful that they make the best use of 
their time. In a practice just and reasonable, such 
objections may have weight ; but if the work be 
wrong from the beginning, there is little or no force 
in them. If I purchase a man who hath never for 
feited his liberty, the natural right of freedom is in 
him ; and shall I keep him and his posterity in ser 
vitude and ignorance ? <f How should I approve of 
this conduct, were I in his circumstances, and he in 
mine?" It may be thought, that to treat them as 


we would willingly be treated,, our gain by them 
would be inconsiderable; and it were, in divers 
respects., better that there were none in our country. 
We may further consider, that they are now 
amongst us,, and those of our nation the cause of 
their being here ; that whatsoever difficulty accrues 
thereon, we are justly chargeable with, and to bear 
all inconveniences attending it, with a serious and 
weighty concern of mind to do our duty by them, 
is the best we can do. To seek a remedy by con 
tinuing the oppression, because we have power to 
do it, and see others do it, will, I apprehend, not be 
doing as we would be done by. 

How deeply soever men are involved in the most 
exquisite difficulties, sincerity of heart, and upright 
walking before God, freely submitting to his pro 
vidence, is the most sure remedy. He only is able 
to relieve, not only persons but nations, in their 
greatest calamities. == n. *", 

David in a great strait, when the sense of his past 
error, and the full expectation of an impending ca 
lamity as the reward of it, were united, to the 
aggravating of his distress, after some deliberation, 
saith, " Let me fall now into the hand of the Lord, 
for very great are his mercies ; but let me not fail 
into the hand of man/ 1 Chron. xxi. 13. 

To act continually with integrity of heart, above 
all narrow or selfish motives, is a sure token of our 
being partakers of that salvation which God hath 
appointed for walls and bulwarks. Isaiah, xxvi. 1. 
and is, beyond all contradiction, a more happy situ 
ation than can ever be promised by the utmost reach 



of art and power united, not proceeding from hea 
venly wisdom. 

A supply to nature s lawful wants, joined with a 
peaceful, humble mind, is the truest happiness in 
this life ; and if here we arrive to this, and remain 
to walk in the path of the just, our case will be truly 
happy. And though herein we may part with, or 
miss of some glaring shows of riches, and leave our 
children little else but wise instructions, a good ex 
ample, and the knowledge of some honest employ 
ment ; these, with the blessing of Providence, are 
sufficient for their happiness, and are more likely to 
prove so, than laying up treasures for them, which 
are often rather a snare, than any real benefit ; es 
pecially to them, who instead of being exampled to 
temperance, are in all things taught to prefer the 
getting of riches, and to eye the temporal distinc 
tions they give, as the principle business of this life. 
These readily overlook the true happiness of man, 
as it results from the enjoyment of all things in the 
fear of God , and, miserably substituting an inferior 
good, dangerous in the acquiring, and uncertain in 
the fruition, they are subject to many disappoint 
ments, and every sweet carries its sting. 

It is the conclusion of our blessed Lord and his 
apostles, as appears by their lives and doctrines, 
that the highest delights of sense, or most pleasing 
objects visible, ought ever to be accounted infinitely 
inferior to that real intellectual happiness suited to 
man in his primitive innocence, and now to be 
found in true renovation of mind ; and that the 
comforts of our present life, the things most grateful 


to us, ought always to be received with temperance,, 
and never made the chief objects of our desire, 
hope, or love ; but that our whole heart and affec 
tions be principally looking to that f( city which 
hath foundations,, whose maker and builder is God." 
Did we so improve the gifts bestowed on us, that 
our children might have an education suited to 
these doctrines, and our example to confirm it, we 
might rejoice in hopes of their being heirs of an in 
heritance incorruptible. 

This inheritance, as Christians, we esteem the 
most valuable ; and how then can we fail to desire 
it for our children ? O that we were consistent 
with ourselves, in pursuing means necessary to ob 
tain it ! 

It appears, by experience, that where children 
educated in fulness, ease, and idleness, evil habits 
are more s prevalent, than, in common, amongst 
such as are prudently employed in the necessary 
affairs of life. And if children are not only edu 
cated in the way of so great temptation, but have 
also the opportunity of lording it over their fellow- 
creatures, and being masters of men in their child 
hood, how can we hope otherwise than that their 
tender minds will be possessed with thoughts too 
high for them ? Which, by continuance, gaining 
strength, will prove, like a slow current, gradually 
separating them from (or keeping from acquaint 
ance with) that humility and meekness in which 
alone lasting happiness can be enjoyed. 

Man is born to labour, and experience abun 
dantly showeth, that it is for our good ; but whejre 


the powerful lay the burthen on the inferior,, with 
out affording a Christian education,, and suitable 
opportunity of improving the mind, and a treat 
ment which we, in their case, should approve, that 
themselves may live at ease/ and fare sumptuously, 
and lay up riches for their posterity, this seems to 
contradict the design of Providence, and, I doubt 
is sometimes the effect of a perverted mind. Per 
while the life of one is made grievous by the rigour 
of another, it entails misery on both. 

Amongst the manifold works of Providence, 
displayed in the different ages of the world, these 
which follow (with many others) may afford instruc 

Abraham was called of God to leave his country 
and kindred, to sojourn amongst strangers : through 
famine, and danger of death, he was forced to flee 
from one kingdom to another He at length, not 
only had assurance of being the father of many na 
tions, but became a mighty prince. Gen. xxiii. 6. 

Remarkable were the dealings of God with Jacob 
in a low estate ; the just sense he retained of them 
after his advancement, appears by his words : (f I am 
not worthy of the least of all thy mercies." Gen. 
xxxii. 10. xlviii. 15. 

The numerous afflictions of Joseph are very sin 
gular ; the particular providence of God therein, no 
less manifest. He, at length, became governor of 
Egypt, and famous for wisdom arid virtue. 

The series of troubles David passed through, few 
amongst us are ignorant of. And yet he after 
wards became as one of the great men of the earth. 


Some evidence of the divine wisdom appears in 
these things, in that such as are intended for 
high stations,, have first been very low and dejected, 
that truth might be sealed on their hearts ; and 
that the characters there imprinted by bitterness 
and adversity, might in after years remain, sug 
gesting compassionate ideas, and in their prosperity, 
quicken their regard to those in the like condi 
tion ; which yet further appears in the case of 
Israel. They were well acquainted with grievous 
sufferings, a long and rigorous servitude ; then 
through many notable events, were made chief 
amongst the nations. To them we find a repetition 
of precepts to the purpose abovesaid ; though, for 
ends agreeable to infinite wisdom, they were chosen 
as a peculiar people for a time ; yet the Most 
High acquaints them, that his love is not confined, 
but extends to the stranger ; and, to excite their 
compassion, reminds them of times past, (e Ye were 
strangers in the land of Egypt." Deut. x. 19. 
Again, c< Thou shalt not oppress a stranger, for ye y 
know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye werestran- 
gers in the land of Egypt/ Exodus xxiii. 9. 

If we call to mind our beginning, some of us 
may find a time, wherein our fathers were under 
afflictions, reproaches, and manifold sufferings. 

Respecting our progress in this land, the time is 
short since our beginning was small and number 
few, compared with the native inhabitants. He that 
sleeps not by day nor night, hath watched over us, 
and kept us, as the apple of his eye. His almighty 
arm hath been round about us, and saved us from 


The wilderness and solitary deserts in which our 
fathers passed the days of their pilgrimage,, are now 
turned into pleasant fields ; the natives are gone 
from before us,, and we established peaceably in the 
possession of the land, enjoying our civil and reli 
gious liberties ; and while many parts of the world 
have groaned under the heavy calamities of war., 
our habitation remains quiet,, and our land fruitful. 

When we trace back the steps we have trodden,, 
and see how the Lord hath opened a way in the 
wilderness for us., to the wise it will easily appear, 
that all this was not done to be buried in oblivion ; 
but to prepare a people for more fruitful returns, 
and the remembrance thereof ought to humble us 
in prosperity, and excite in us a Christian benevo 
lence towards our inferiors. 

If we do not consider these things aright, but, 
through a stupid indolence, conceive views of inte 
rest, separate from the general good of the great 
brotherhood, and, in pursuance thereof, treat our 
inferiors with rigour, to increase our wealth, and 
gain riches for our children ; what then shall we do 
6 when God riseth up ? and when he visiteth, what 
shall we answer him ? did not He that made us, 
make them ? and did not one fashion us in the 
womb?" Job xxxi. 13, 14. 

To our great master we stand or fall, to judge or 
condemn us as is most suitable to his wisdom or 
authority. My inclination is to persuade, and in- 
treat, and simply give hints of my way of thinking. 

If the Christian religion be considered, both re 
specting its doctrines, and the happy influence 


which it hath on the minds and manners of all real 
Christians, it looks reasonable to think, that the 
miraculous manifestation thereof to the world, is a 
kindness beyond expression. 

Are we the people thus favoured ? are we they 
whose minds are opened, influenced, and governed 
by the Spirit of Christ,, and thereby made sons of 
God ? is it not a fair conclusion, that we, like our 
heavenly Father, ought, in our degree, to be ac 
tive in the same great cause of the eternal happiness 
of, at least, our whole families, and more, if thereto 
capacitated ? 

If we, by the operation of the Spirit of Christ, 
become heirs with him in the kingdom of his Father, 
and are redeemed from the alluring counterfeit joys 
of this world, arid the joy of Christ remain in us, to 
suppose that one remaining in this happy condition, 
can, for the sake of earthly riches, not only deprive 
his fellow-creatures of the sweetness of freedom, 
(which rightly used, is one of the greatest temporal 
blessings,) but therewith neglect using proper means, 
for their acquaintance with the Holy Scriptures, and 
the advantage of true religion, seems at least a con 
tradiction to reason. 

Whoever rightly advocates the cause of some, 
thereby promotes the good of all. The state of 
mankind was harmonious in the beginning, and 
though sin hath introduced discord, yet through the 
wonderful love of God, in Christ Jesus our Lord, 
the way is open for our redemption, and means ap 
pointed to restore us to primitive harmony. That 
if one suffer by the unfaithfulness of another, the 


mind, the most noble part of him that occasions the 
discord, is thereby alienated from its true and real 

Our duty and interest are inseparably united, and 
when we neglect or misuse our talents, we necessa 
rily depart from the heavenly fellowship, and are in 
the way to the greatest of evils. 

Therefore to examine and prove ourselves, to find 
what harmony the power presiding in us bears with 
the divine nature, is a duty not more incumbent and 
necessary, than it would be beneficial. 

In Holy Writ the Divine Being saith of Himself, 
ff I am the Lord, which exercise loving-kindness, 
judgment and righteousness in the earth; for in 
these things I delight, saith the Lord/ Jer. ix. 24. 
Again, speaking in the way of man, to show his 
compassion to Israel, whose wickedness had occa 
sioned a calamity, and then being humbled under 
it, it is said, His soul was grieved for their miseries. 
Judges x. 16. If we consider the life of our blessed 
Saviour when on eartly, as it is recorded by his fol 
lowers, we shall find, that one uniform desire for 
the eternal, and temporal good of mankind, disco 
vered itself in all his actions. 

If we observe men, both apostles and others, in 
many different ages, who have really come to the 
unity of the Spirit, and the fellowship of the saints, 
there still appears the like disposition, and in them 
the desire of the real happiness of mankind, has out 
balanced the desire of ease, liberty, and many times, 
life itself. 

If upon a true search, we find that our natures 


are so far renewed, that to exercise righteousness 
arid loving-kindness (according to our ability) to 
wards all men, without respect of persons, is easy 
to us, or is our delight; if our love be so orderly 
and regular, that he who doeth the will of our 
Father, who is in heaven, appears in our view, to 
be our nearest relation, our brother, and sister, and 
mother ; if this be our case, there is a good founda 
tion to hope, that the blessing of God will sweeten 
our treasures during our stay in this life, and our 
memory be savory, when we are entered into rest. 

To conclude, it is a truth most certain, that a life 
guided. by wisdom from above, agreeable with jus 
tice, equity, and mercy, is throughout consistent 
and amiable, and truly beneficial to society ; the 
serenity and calmness of mind in it, affords an un- 
parallelled comfort in this life, and the end of it is 

And no less true that they, who in the midst of 
high favours, remain ungrateful, and, under all the 
advantages that a Christian can desire, are selfish, 
earthly and sensual, do miss the true fountain of 
happiness, and wander in a maze of dark anxiety, 
where all their treasures are insufficient to quiet their 
minds : hence, from an insatiable craving, they neg 
lect doing good with what they have acquired, and 
too often add oppression to vanity, that they may 
compass more. 

" O that they were wise, that they understood 
this, that they would consider their latter end \" 
Deut. xxxii.29. 




Recommended to the Professors of Christianity of 
every Denomination. 

[First printed in the Year 1762.] 



ALL our actions are of like nature with their root ; 
and the Most High weigheth them more skilfully 
than men can weigh them one for another. 

I believe that one Supreme Being made and sup 
ports the world ; nor can I worship any other Deity 
without being an idolater, and guilty of wickedness. 

Many nations have believed in, and worshipped, 
a plurality of deities; but I do not believe they 
were therefore all wicked. Idolatry, indeed, is 
wickedness; but it is the thing, not the name, 
which is so. Real idolatry is to pay that adoration 
to a creature, which is known to be due only to the 
true God. 

He who professeth to believe one Almighty Cre 
ator, and in his Son Jesus Christ, and is yet more 
intent on the honours, profits, and friendships of the 
world, than he is in singleness of heart to stand faith- 


ful to the Christian religion, is in the channel of i 
atry ; while the Gentile, who, under some mistaken 
opinions, is, notwithstanding, established in the 
true principle of virtue, and humbly adores an 
Almighty power, may be of that number who fear 
God, and work righteousness. 

I believe the bishop of Rome assumes a power 
that does not belong to any officer in the church of 
Christ ; and if I should knowingly do any thing 
tending to strengthen him in that capacity, it would 
be great iniquity. There are many thousands of 
people who, by their profession, acknowledge him 
to be the representative of Jesus Christ on earth; 
and to say that none of them are upright in heart, 
would be contrary to rny sentiments. 

Men who sincerely apply their minds to true 
virtue, and find an inward support from above, by 
which all vicious inclinations are made subject; 
they that love God sincerely, and prefer the real 
good of mankind universally to their own private 
interest; though these, through the strength of 
education and tradition, may remain under some 
speculative and great errors, it would be unchari 
table to say, that therefore God rejects them. He 
who creates, supports, and gives understanding to 
all men, his knowledge and goodness is superior to 
the various cases and circumstances of his creatures, 
which to us appear the most difficult. 

The apostles and primitive Christians did riot 
censure all the Gentiles as wicked men, Rom. ii. 14. ; 
Col. iii. 11.; but as they were favoured with a gift 
to discern things more clearly, respecting the wor- 


ship of the true God, they, with much firmness, 
declared against the worshipping of idols ; and with 
true patience, endured many sufferings on that 

Great numbers of faithful Protestants have con 
tended for the truth, in opposition to papal errors ; 
and, with true fortitude, laid down their lives in the 
conflict, without saying, That no man was saved 
who made profession of that religion. 

While we have no right to keep men as servants 
for term of life, but that of superior power ; to do 
this, with design by their labour to profit ourselves 
and our families, I believe is wrong ; but I do not 
believe that all who have kept slaves, have therefore 
been chargeable with guilt. If their motives 
thereto were free from selfishness, and their slaves 
content, they were a sort of freemen ; which I 
believe hath sometimes been the case. 

Whatever a man does in the spirit of charity, to 
him it is not sin ; and while he lives and acts in 
this spirit, he learns all things essential to his hap 
piness as an individual : and if he doth not see that 
any injury or injustice, to any other person, is ne 
cessarily promoted by any part of his form of go 
vernment, I believe the merciful Judge will not lay 
iniquity to his charge. Yet others, who live in the 
same spirit of charity, from a clear convincement, 
may see th,e relation of one thing to another, and 
the necessary tendency of each ; and hence it may 
be absolutely binding on them to desist from some 
parts of conduct, which some good men have been 


" Ye shall not respect persons in judgment ; but you shall hear 
the small as well as the great : you shall not be afraid of the face 
of man ; for the judgment is God s." DEPT^I. 17. 

As some in most religious societies amongst the 
English are concerned in importing or purchasing 
the inhabitants of Africa as slaves, and as the pro 
fessors of Christianity of several other nations do 
the like ; these circumstances tend to make people 
less apt to examine the practice so closely as they 
would be if such a thing had not been, but was now 
proposed to be entered upon. It is however our 
duty, and what concerns us individually, as 
creatures accountable to our Creator, to employ 
rightly the understanding which He hath given us, 
in humbly endeavouring to be acquainted with his 
will concerning us, and with the nature and ten 
dency of those things which we practise : for as 
justice remains to be justice, so many people of 
reputation in the world, joining with wrong things, 
do not excuse others in joining with them, nor 
make the consequence of their proceedings less 


dreadful in the final issue, than it would otherwise 

Where unrighteousness is justified from one age 
to another, it is like dark matter gathering into 
clouds over us. We may know that this gloom 
will remain till the cause be removed by a reforma 
tion, or change of times ; and may feel a desire, 
from a love of equity, to speak on the occasion ; 
yet, where error is so strong that it may not be 
spoken against without some prospect of inconve 
nience to the speaker, this difficulty is likely to 
operate on our weakness, and quench the good 
desires in us; except we dwell so steadily under 
the weight of it as to be made willing to cc endure 
hardness" on that account. 

Where men exert their talents against vices, 
generally accounted such, the ill effects whereof are 
presently perceived in a government, all men who 
regard their own temporal good, are likely to 
approve the work. But when that which is in 
consistent with perfect equity, hath the law or 
countenance of the great in its favour, though the 
tendency thereof be quite contrary to the true hap 
piness of mankind, in an equal if not greater 
degree than many things accounted reproachful 
to Christians ; yet, as these ill effects are not gene 
rally perceived, they who labour to dissuade from 
such things, which people believe accord with their 
interest, have many difficulties to encounter. 

The repeated charges which God gave to his 
prophets, imply the danger they were in of erring on 
this hand. f< Be not afraid of their faces; for I am 


\\itli thee, to deliver thee, saith the Lord." Jer. i, 8; 
f Speak all the words that I command thee to speak 
to them ; diminish not a word/ Jer. xxvi. 2. 
(c And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, nor 
dismayed at their looks. Speak my words to them, 
whether they will hear or forbear/ Ezek. ii. 6, 7. 

Under an apprehension of duty, I offer some 
further considerations on this subject,, having en 
deavoured some years to consider it candidly. I 
have observed people of our own colour, whose 
abilities have been inferior to the affairs which relate 
to their convenient subsistence, who have been 
taken care of by others, and the profit of such work 
as they could do, applied toward their support. I 
believe there are such amongst negroes ; and that 
some people, in whose hands they are, keep them 
with no view of outward profit, do not consider 
them as black men, who, as such, ought to serve 
white men ; but account them persons who have 
need of guardians, and as such take care of them ; 
yet, where equal care is taken in all parts of educa 
tion, I do not apprehend cases of this sort are 
likely to occur more frequently amongst one sort 
of people than another. 

It looks to me that the slave trade was founded; -x, 
and hath generally been carried on in a wrong 
spirit ; that the effects of it are detrimental to the 
real prosperity of our country ; and will be more 
so, except we cease from the common motives of 
keeping them, and treat them in future agreeably 
to truth and pure justice. 

Negroes may be imported, who, for their cruelty 


to their countrymen,, and the evil disposition of 
their minds, may be unfit to be at liberty ; and if 
we, as lovers of righteousness,, undertake the ma 
nagement of them, we should have a full and clear 
knowledge of their crimes,, and of those circum 
stances which might operate in their favour ; but 
the difficulty of obtaining this is so great, that we 
have great reason to be cautious therein. But,, 
should it plainly appear, that absolute subjection 
Was a condition the most proper for the person 
who is purchased, yet the innocent children ought 
not to be made slaves because their parents sinned. 
We have account in Holy Scripture of some fa 
milies suffering, where mention is only made of the 
heads of the family committing wickedness ; and it 
is likely that the degenerate Jews, misunderstand 
ing some occurrences of this kind, took occasion to 
charge God with being unequal ; so that a saying 
became common, " The fathers have eaten sour 
grapes, and the childrens teeth are set on edge/ 
Jeremiah and Ezekiel, two of the inspired prophets, 
who lived near the same time, were concerned to 
correct this error. Ezekiel is large on the subject. 
First, he reproves them for their error. cf What 
mean ye, that ye do so/* chap, xviii. verse 2. " As 
I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall not have occasion 
any more to use this proverb in Israel/ The words 
(t any more" have reference to time past ; intimat 
ing, that though they had not rightly understood 
some things they had heard or seen, and thence 
supposed the proverb to be well grounded ; yet 
henceforth they might know of a certainty, that 


the ways of God are all equal ; that as sure as the 
Most High liveth, so sure men are only answerable 
for their own sins. He thus sums up the matter, 
ver. 20. fc The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The 
son shall not bear the iniquity of the father ; neither 
shall the father bear the iniquity of the son. The 
righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him ; 
and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon 

Where men are wicked, they commonly are a 
means of corrupting the succeeding age; and 
thereby hasten those outward calamities, which fall 
on nations^, when their iniquities are full. 

Men may pursue means which are not agreeable 
to perfect purity, with a view to increase the wealth 
and happiness of their offspring, and thereby make 
the way of virtue more difficult to them. And 
though the ill example of a parent, or a multitude, 
does not excuse a man in doing evil, yet the mind 
being early impressed with vicious notions and 
practices,, and nurtured up in ways of getting 
treasure, which are not the ways of truth ; this 
wrong spirit getting first possession, and being thus 
strengthened, frequently prevents due attention to 
the true spirit of wisdom, so that they exceed in 
wickedness those who lived before them. And in 
this channel, though parents labour, as they think, 
to forward the happiness of their children, it proves 
a means of forwarding their calamity. This being 
the case in the age next before the grievous cala 
mity in the siege of Jerusalem, and carrying Judah 
captive to Babylon, they might say with propriety, 


This came upon us because our fathers forsook 
God, and because we did worse than our fathers. 
See Jer. vii. 26. 

As the generation next before them inwardly 
turned away from God, who yet waited to be gra 
cious; and as they in that age continued in those 
things which necessarily separated from perfect 
goodness, growing more stubborn, till the judg 
ments of God were poured out upon them ; they 
might properly say, ec Our fathers have sinned,, and 
we have borne their iniquities/ Lam. v. ?. And 
yet, wicked as their fathers were, had they not suc 
ceeded them in their wickedness, they had not 
borne their iniquities. 

To suppose it right, that an innocent man shall 
at this day be excluded from the common rules of 
justice ; be deprived of that liberty, which is the 
natural right of human creatures, and be a slave to 
others during life, on account of a sin committed 
by his immediate parents, or a sin committed by 
Ham, the son of Noah ; is a supposition too gross 
to be admitted into the mind of any person who 
sincerely desires to be governed by solid principles. 

It is alleged, in favour of the practice, that 
Joshua made slaves of the Gibeonites. 

What men do by the command of God, and what 
comes to pass as a consequence of their neglect, 
are different ; such as the latter case now mentioned 

It was the express command of the Almighty to 
Israel, concerning the inhabitants of the promised 
land, " Thou shalt make no covenant with them, 


nor with their gods : they shall not dwell in thy 
land/ Exod. xxiii. 32. Those Gibeonites came 
craftily, telling- Joshua, that they were come from 
a far country ; that their elders had sent them to 
make a league with the people of Israel ; and as an 
evidence of their being foreigners,, showed their old 
clothes,, &c. ff And the men took of their victuals, 
and asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord; 
and Joshua made peace with them,, and made a 
league w ith them, to let them live ; and the princes 
sware to them." Josh. ix. 14, 15. 

When the imposition was discovered, the con 
gregation murmured against the princes: " But all 
the princes said to all the congregation, we have 
sworn to them by the Lord God of Israel ; now 
therefore we may not touch them ; we will even 
let them live, lest wrath be upon us ; but let them 
be hewers of wood, and drawers of water unto the 

Omitting to ask counsel,, involved them in great 
difficulty. The Gibeonites were of those cities, of 
which the Lord said, " Thou shalt save alive nothing 
that breatheth;" and of the stock of the Hivites, 
concerning whom he commanded by name, " Thou 
shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them. Thou 
shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy 
unto them/ Dent. vii. 1. Thus Joshua and the 
princes not knowing them, had made a league with 
lliem, to let them live ; and in this strait they re 
solve to make them servants. Joshua and the 
princes suspected them to be deceivers : " Perad- 
venture you dwell amongst us : and how shall we 


make a league with you ?" Which words show, 
that they remembered the command before-men 
tioned ; and yet did not enquire at the mouth of 
the Lord, as Moses directed Joshua, when he gave 
him a charge respecting his duty as chief man 
among that people. Numb, xxvii. 21. By this 
omission things became so situated, that Joshua 
and the princes could not execute the judgments 
of God on them, without violating the oath which 
they had made. 

Moses did amiss at the waters of Meribah ; and 
doubtless he soon repented ; for the Lord was with 
him. And it is likely that Joshua was deeply hum 
bled, under a sense of his omission ; for it appears 
that God continued him in his office, and spared 
the lives of those people, for the sake of the league 
and oath made in his name. 

The wickedness of these people was great, and 
they worthy to die, or perfect justice had not pas 
sed sentence of death upon them ; and as their ex 
ecution was prevented by this league and oath, 
they appear content to be servants: " As it seemeth 
good and right unto thee to do unto us, do." 

These criminals, instead of death had the sen 
tence of servitude pronounced on them, in these 
words, <f Now therefore ye are cursed ; arid there 
shall none of you be freed from being bondmen, 
and hewers of wood, and drawers of water for the 
house of my God." 

We find, Deut. xx. 10, that there were cities far 
distant from Canaan, against which, Israel went to 
battle ; unto which they were to proclaim peace^ 


avid if the inhabitants made answer of peace,, and 
opened their gates,, they were not to destroy them, 
but make them tributaries. 

The children of Israel were then the Lord s 
host, and executioners of his judgments on people 
hardened in wickedness They were not to go to 
battle, but by his appointment. The men who 
were chief in his army, had their instruction from 
the Almighty ; sometimes immediately, and some 
times by the ministry of angels. Of these,, amongst 
others, were Moses., Joshua, Othniel, and Gideon ; 
see Exod. iii. 2, and xviii. 19. Josh. v. 13. These 
people far off from Canaan, against whom Israel 
was sent to battle, were so corrupt, that the Creator 
of the universe saw it good to change their situa 
tion ; and in case of their opening their gates, and 
coming under tribute, this their subjection, though 
probably more mild than absolute slavery, was to 
last little or no longer than while Israel remained 
in the true spirit of government. 

It was pronounced by Moses the prophet as a 
consequence of their wickedness, " The stranger 
that is within thee shall get above thee very high ; 
and thoii shalt come down very low. He shall be 
the head, and thou the tail/ Deut. xxviii. 43, 44. 

This we find in some measure verified in their 
being made tributaries to the Moabites, Midianiles, 
Ainorites and Philistines. 

It is alleged in favour of the practice of slave- 
keeping, that the Jews by their law made slaves of 
the Heathen. Lev. xxv. 45. 4f Moreover, of the 
children of the strangers that do sojourn amongst 


you, of them shall ye buy, and of their children, 
which are with you, which they begat in your land ; 
and they shall be your possession ; and you shall 
take them as an inheritance for your children after 
you, to inherit them as a possession, they shall be 
your bondmen for ever." It is difficult for us to 
have any certain knowledge of the mind of Moses, 
in regard to keeping slaves, any other way than by 
looking upon him as a true servant of God, whose 
mind and conduct were regulated by an inward 
principle of justice and equity. To admit a sup 
position that he in that case was drawn from per 
fect equity by the alliance of outward kindred, 
would be to disown his authority. 

Abraham had servants born in his house, arid 
bought with his money : (< And the Almighty said 
of Abraham, I know him, that he will order his 
house after him." Which implies, that he was a 
father, an instructor, and a good governor over his 
people And Moses, considered as a man of God, 
must necessarily have had a prospect of some real 
advantage in the strangers and heathens being ser 
vants to the Israelites for a time. 

As mankind had received and established many 
erroneous opinions and hurtful customs, their living 
and conversing with the Jews, while the Jews stood 
faithful to their principles, might be helpful to re 
move those errors, and reform their manners. But 
for men, with private views, to assume an absolute 
power over the persons and properties of others ; 
and continue it from age to age in the line of na 
tural generation, without regard lo the virtues arid 


vices of their successors,, as it is manifestly contrary 
to true universal love, and attended with great 
evils, there requires the clearest evidence to beget a 
belief in us, that Moses intended that the strangers 
should, as such, be slaves to the Jews. 

He directed them to buy strangers and sojour- 
ners. It appears that there were strangers in Israel 
who were free men ; and considering with what 
tenderness and humanity the Jews, by their law, 
were obliged to use their servants, and what care 
was to be taken to instruct them in the true reli 
gion, it is not unlikely that some strangers in poverty 
and distress were willing to enter into bonds to 
serve the Jews as Ipng as they lived ; and in such 
case the Jews, by their law, had a right to their 
service during life. 

When the awl was bored through the ear of the 
Hebrew servant, the text saith, ff He shall serve for 
ever ;" yet we do not suppose that by the word 
" for ever/ it was intended that none of his poste 
rity should afterwards be free. When it is said in 
regard to the strangers which they bought, " They 
shall be your possession/ it may be well under 
stood to mean only the persons so purchased ; all 
preceding relates to buying them; and what fol 
lows, to the continuance of their service, " You 
shall take them as an inheritance to your children 
after you ; they shall be your bondmen for ever. * 
It may be well understood to stand limited to those 
they purchased. 

Moses directing Aaron and his sons to wash their 
hands and feet, when they went into the tabernacle 


of the congregation, saith, (C It shall be a statute 
for ever to them, even to him and his seed through 
out all generations." And to express the con 
tinuance of the law,, it was his common language,, 
" It shall be a statute for ever throughout your 
generations/ So that had he intended the pos 
terity of the strangers so purchased to continue in 
slavery to the Jews., it looks likely that he would 
have used some terms clearly to express it. The 
Jews undoubtedly had slaves,, whom they kept as 
such from one age to another; but that this was 
agreeable to the genuine design of their inspired 
law-giver, is far from being a clear case. 

Making constructions of the law contrary to the 
true meaning of it, was common amongst that 
people. Samuel s sons took bribes, and perverted 
judgment Isaiah complained that they justified 
the wicked for reward Zephaniah, coternporary 
with Jeremiah, on account of the injustice of the 
civil magistrates, declared that those judges were 
evening wolves ; and that the priests did violence 
to the law. 

Jeremiah acquaints us, that the priests cried 
peace, peace, when there was no peace ; by which 
means the people grew bold in their wickedness ; 
and having committed abominations, were not 
ashamed ; but, through wrong constructions of the 
law, they justified themselves, and boastingly said, 
fc We are wise ; and the law of the Lord is with 
us/ These corruptions continued till the days of 
our Saviour, who told the Pharisees, Cf Thus have 


ye made the commandment of God of none effect 
by your tradition." 

Thus it appears that they corrupted the law of 
Moses; nor is it unlikely that among many others 
this was one ; for oppressing the strangers was a 
heavy charge against the Jews, and very often 
strongly represented by the Lord s faithful pro 

That the liberty of man was, by the inspired law 
giver, esteemed precious, appears in this ; that such 
as unjustly deprived men of it, were to be punished 
in like manner as if they had murdered them. " He 
that stealeth a man and selleth him ; or if he be 
found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death/ 
This part of the law was so considerable, that Paul, 
the learned Jew, giving a brief account of the uses 
of the law, adds this, " It was made for men- 
stealers." 1 Tim. i. 10. 

The great men amongst that people were exceed 
ingly oppressive : and it is likely, exerted their 
whole strength and influence to have the law con 
strued to suit their turns. The honest servants of 
the Lord had heavy work with them in regard to 
their oppression ; a few instances follow. " Thus 
saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, amend 
your ways, and your doings ; and I will cause you 
to dwell in this place. If ye thoroughly execute 
judgment between a man and his neighbour ; if ye 
oppress not the stranger, the fatherless and the 
widow; and shed not innocent blood in this place; 
neither walk after other gods to your hurt, then 
will I cause you to dwell in this place," Jer. vii, 6, 7. 


Again a messenger was sent, not only to the infe 
rior ministers of justice, but also to the chief ruler. 
" Thus saith the Lord ; go down to the house of 
the king of Judah, and speak there this word ; exe 
cute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver 
the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor ; and 
do no wrong; do no violence to the stranger,, the 
fatherless, and the widow; neither, shed innocent 
blood in this place/ Then adds, that in so doing 
they should prosper ; But if ye will not hear tliese 
words, I swear by myself, saith the Lord, that this 
house shall become a desolation." Jer. xxii. 5. 

The king, the princes, and rulers, were agreed in 
oppression, before the Babylonish captivity ; for 
whatever courts of justice were retained amongst 
them ; or however they decided matters betwixt 
men of estates, it is plain that the cause of the poor 
was not judged in equity. 

It appears that the great men amongst the Jews 
were fully resolved to have slaves, even of their own 
brethren. Jer. xxxiv. Notwithstanding the pro 
mises and threaten ings of the Lord, by the prophet, 
and their solemn covenant. to set them free, con 
firmed by the imprecation of passing between the 
parts of a calf cut in twain ; intimating by that 
ceremony, that on breach of the covenant, it were 
just for their bodies to be so cut in pieces. Yet 
after all, they held fast to their old custom, and 
called home the servants whom they had set free 
" And ye were now turned, and had done right in 
my sight, in proclaiming liberty every man to his 
neighbour; and ye had made a covenant before me, 


in the house which is called by my name,, but ye 
turned, and polluted my name,, and caused every 
man his servant, whom he had set at liberty at their 
pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjec 
tion, to be unto you for servants, and for handmaids. 
Therefore thus saith the Lord, ye have not heark 
ened unto me, in proclaiming liberty every one to 
his neighbour, and every one to his brother. Be 
hold I proclaim liberty to you, saith the Lord, to 
the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and 
I will make you to l\e removed into all the king 
doms of the earth. The men who transgressed my 
covenant which they made, and passed between the 
parts of the calf, I will give into the hands of their 
enemies, and their dead bodies shall be for meat 
to the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the 

Soon after this their city was taken and burnt, 
the king s sons and the princes slain ; and the king, 
with the chief men of his kingdom, carried captive 
to Babylon. Ezekiel, prophesying the return of 
that people to their own land, directs, ec Ye shall 
divide the land by lot, for an inheritance unto you, 
and to the strangers that sojourn amongst you ; in 
what tribe the stranger sojourns, there shall ye give 
him his inheritance, saith the Lord God." Nor is 
this particular direction, and the authority with 
which it is enforced, without a tacit implication, 
that their ancestors had erred in their conduct to 
wards the stranger/ 

Some who keep slaves, have doubted as to the 
equity of the practice ; but as they knew men, noted 


for their piety, who were in it, this they say., has made 
their minds easy. 

To lean on the example of men in doubtful cases,, 
is difficult. For only admit,, that those men were 
not faithful and upright to the highest degree, but 
that in some particular case they erred, and it may 
follow that this one case was the same, about which 
we are in doubt; and to quiet our minds by their 
example, may be dangerous to ourselves ; and con 
tinuing in it, prove a stumbling block to tender- 
minded people who succeed us, in like manner as 
their examples are to us. 

But supposing chanty was their only motive, and 
they not foreseeing the tendency of paying robbers 
for their booty were not justly under the imputation 
of being partners with a thief, Prov. xxix. 24. but 
were really innocent in what they did, are we as 
sured that we keep them with the same views they 
kept them ? If we keep them from no other motive 
than a real sense of duty, and true charity governs 
us in all our proceedings toward them, we are so far 
safe : but if another spirit, which inclines our minds 
to the ways of this world, prevail upon us, and we 
are concerned for our own outward gain more than 
for their real happiness, it will avail us nothing that 
some good men have had the care and management 
of negroes. 

Since mankind spread upon the earth, many have 
been the revolutions attending the several families, 
and their customs and ways of life different from 
each other. This diversity of manners, though 
some are preferable to others, operates not in favour 


of any, so far as to justify them to do violence to 
innocent men ; to bring them from their own to an 
other way of life. The mind, when moved by a 
principle of true love, may feel a \varmth of grati 
tude to the universal Father, and a lively sympathy 
with those nations, where divine Light has been 
less manifest. 

This desire for their real good may beget a wil 
lingness to undergo hardships for their sakes, that 
the true knowledge of God may be spread amongst 
them : but to take them from their own land, with 
views of profit to ourselves, by means inconsistent 
with pure justice, is foreign to that principle which 
seeks the happiness of the whole creation. Forced 
subjection of innocent persons of full age, is incon 
sistent with right reason ; on one side, the human 
mind is not naturally fortified with that firmness in 
wisdom and goodness, necessary to an independent 
ruler ; on the other side, to be subject to the uncon- 
troulable will of a man, liable to err, is most pain 
ful and afflicting to a conscientious creature. 

It is our happiness faithfully to serve the divine 
Being, who made us, His perfection makes our 
service reasonable ; but so long as men are biassed 
by narrow self-love, so long an absolute power over 
other men is unfit for them. 

Men, taking on them the government of others, 
may intend to govern reasonably, and make their 
subjects more happy than they would be otherwise; 
but, as absolute command belongs only to Him who 
is perfect, where frail men, in their own wills, assume 
such command, it hath a direct tendency to vitiate 


their minds, and make them more unfit for govern 

Placing on men the ignominious title SLAVE., 
dressing them in uncomely garments, keeping them 
to servile labour, in which they are often dirty, 
tends gradually to fix a notion in the mind, that 
they are a sort of people below us in nature, and 
leads us to consider them as such in all our conclu 
sions about them. And, moreover, a person who 
in our esteem is mean and contemptible, if his lan 
guage or behaviour towards us is unseemly or dis 
respectful, it excites wrath more powerfully than 
the like conduct in one we accounted our equal or 
superior ; and where this happens to be the case, it 
disqualifies for candid judgment ; for it is unfit for 
a person to sit as judge in a case where his own 
personal resentments are stirred up ; and as mem 
bers of society in a well-framed government, we are 
mutually dependent. Present interest incites to 
duty, and makes each man attentive to the conve 
nience of others ; but he whose will is a law to 
others, and can enforce obedience by punishment ; 
he whose wants are supplied without feeling any 
obligation to make equal returns to his benefactor, 
his irregular appetites find an open field for mo 
tion, arid he is in danger of growing hard, and in 
attentive to their convenience who labour for his 
support ; and so loses that disposition, in which 
alone men are fit to govern. 

The English government hath been commended 
by candid foreigners for the disuse of racks and 
tortures, so much practised in some states; but this 


multiplying slaves now leads to it ; for where peo 
ple exact hard labour of others, without a suitable 
reward, and are resolved to continue in that 
way, severity to such as oppose them becomes 
the consequence ; and several negro criminals, 
among- the English in America, have been exe 
cuted in a lingering, painful way, very terrifying to 

It is a happy case to set out right, and persevere 
in the same way. A wrong beginning leads into 
many difficulties ; for to support one evil, another 
becomes customary ; two produce more : and the 
further men proceed in this way, the greater their 
dangers, their doubts and fears, and the more pain 
ful and perplexing are their circumstances ; so that 
such as are true friends to the real and lasting 
interest of our country, and candidly consider the 
tendency of things, cannot but feel some concern on 
this account. 

There is that superiority in men over the brute 
creatures, and some of them are so manifestly de 
pendent on men for a living, that for them to serve 
us in moderation, so far as relates to the right use 
of things, looks consonant to the design of our 

There is nothing in their frame, nothing relative 
to the propagating their species, which argues the 
contrary ; but in men there is. The frame of men s 
bodies and the disposition of their minds are differ 
ent ; some, who are tough and strong, and their 
minds active, choose ways of life requiring much 
labour to support them ; others are soon weary ; 


and though use makes labour more tolerable, yet 
some are less apt for toil than others, and their 
minds less sprightly. These latter labouring for 
their subsistence,, commonly choose a life easy to 
support, being content with a little. When they 
are weary they may rest, take the most advantage 
ous part of the day for labour ; and in all cases 
proportion one thing to another, that their bodies 
be not oppressed. 

Now, while each is at liberty, the latter may be 
as happy, and live as comfortably as the former ; 
but where men of the first sort have the latter un 
der absolute command, and not considering the 
odds in strength and firmness, do, sometimes, in 
their eager pursuit, lay on burdens grievous to be 
borne ; they by degrees grow rigorous, and aspiring 
to greatness, increase oppression, and the true order 
of kind Providence is subverted. 

There are weaknesses sometimes attending us, 
which make little or no alteration in our counte 
nances, nor much lessen our appetite for food, and 
yet so affect us, as to make labour very uneasy. 
In such cases, masters, intent on putting forward 
business, and jealous of the sincerity of their slaves, 
may disbelieve what they say, and grievously afflict 

Action is necessary for all men, and our exhaust 
ing frame requires a support, which is the fruit of 
action. The earth must be laboured to keep us 
alive : labour is a proper part of our life ; to make 
one answer the other in some useful motion, looks 
agreeable to the design of our Creator. Motion, 

29 1 

rightly managed, tends to our satisfaction, health,, 
and support. 

Those who quit all useful business, and live 
wholly on the labour of others, have their exercise 
to seek ; some such use less than their health re 
quires ; others choose that which, by the circum 
stances attending it, proves utterly reverse to true 
happiness. Thus, while some are divers ways dis 
tressed for want of an open channel of useful action, 
those who support them sigh, arid are exhausted in 
a stream too powerful for nature, spending their 
days with too little cessation from labour. 

Seed sown with the tears of a confined, oppressed, 
people, harvest cut down by an over-borne, discon 
tented, reaper, makes bread less sweet to the taste 
of an honest man, than that which is the produce, 
or just reward of such voluntary action, which is 
one proper part of the business of human creatures. 

Again, the weak state of the human species, in 
bearing and bringing forth their young, and the 
helpless condition of their young beyond that of 
other creatures, clearly show that Perfect Goodness 
designs a tender care and regard should be exer 
cised toward them ; and that no imperfect, arbitrary, 
power should prevent the cordial effects of that 
sympathy, which is in the minds of well-met pairs 
to each other, and toward their offspring. 

In our species the mutual ties of affection are 
more rational and durable than in others below us : 
the care and labour of raising our offspring much 
greater. The satisfaction arising to us in their 


innocent company, and in their advances from one 
rational improvement to another, is considerable, 
when two are thus joined, and their affections sin 
cere. It however happens among slaves, that they 
are often situate in different places ; and their see 
ing each other depends on the will of men, liable 
to human passions,, and a bias in judgment; who 
with views of self-interest, may keep them apart 
more than is right. Being absent from each other, 
and often with other company there is a danger of 
their affections being alienated, jealousies arising, 
the happiness otherwise resulting from their off 
spring frustrated, and the comforts of marriage de 
stroyed These things being considered closely, 
as happening to a near friend, will appear to be 
Jiard and painful. 

He who reverently observes that goodness mani 
fested by our gracious Creator toward the various 
species of beings in this world, will see, that in our 
frame and constitution is clearly shown that inno 
cent men, capable to manage for themselves, were 
not intended to be slaves, 

A person lately travelling amongst the negroes 
near Senegal, hath this remark ; " Which way so 
ever I turned my eyes on this pleasant spot, I be 
held a perfect image of pure nature ; an agreeable 
solitude, bounded on every side by charming land 
scapes, the rural situation of cottages in the midst 
of trees. The ease and indolence of the negroes 
reclined under the shade of their spreading foliage ; 
the simplicity of their dress and manners ; the whole 


revived in iny mind the idea of our first parents, and 
I seemed to contemplate the world in its primitive 
state." M. Adarison, page 55. 

Some negroes in these parts, who have had an 
agreeable education,, have manifested a brightness 
of understanding equal to many of us. A remark 
of this kind we find in Bosnian, page 328. Cf The 
negroes of Fida, saith he, are so accurately quick 
in their merchandize accounts, that they easily 
reckon as justly and quickly in their heads only, 
as we with the assistance of pen and ink, though 
the sum amounts to several thousands." 

Through the force of long custom, it appears 
needful to speak in relation to colour. Suppose a 
white child, born of parents of the meanest sort, 
who died and left him an infant, falls into the hands 
of a person, who endeavours to keep him a slave, 
some men would account him an unjust man in 
doing so, who yet appear easy while many black 
people, of honest lives, and good abilities, arc en 
slaved, in a manner more shocking than the case 
here supposed. This is owing chiefly to the idea of 
slavery being connected with the black colour, and 
liberty with the white ; and where false ideas are 
twisted into our minds, it is with difficulty we get 
fairly disentangled. 

A traveller, in cloudy weather, misseth his way, 
makes many turns while he is lost; still forms in 
his mind, the bearing and situation of places, and 
though the ideas are wrong, they fix as fast as if 
they were right. Finding how things are, we see 

our mistake ; yet the force of reason, with repeated 
observations on places and things, does riot soon 
remove these false notions, so fastened upon us, 
but it will seem in the imagination as if the annual 
course of the sun was altered ; and though by re 
collection,, we are assured it is riot,, yet those ideas 
do not suddenly leave us. 

Selfishness being indulged,, clouds the under 
standing; and where selfish men, for a long time, 
proceed on their way, without opposition, the de- 
ceivableness of unrighteousness gets so rooted in 
their intellects, that a candid examination of things 
relating to self-interest is prevented; and in this cir 
cumstance,, some who would not agree to make a 
slave of a person whose colour is like their own, 
appear easy in making slaves of others of a differ- 
rent colour, though their understandings and morals 
are equal to the generality of men of their own 

The colour of a man avails nothing, in matters 
of right and equity. Consider colour in relation 
to treaties; by such, disputes betwixt nations are 
sometimes settled. And should the Father of us 
all so dispose things, that treaties with black men 
should sometimes be necessary, how then would it 
appear amongst the princes and ambassadors, to 
insist on the prerogative of the white colour ? 

Whence is it that men, who believe in a righte 
ous omnipotent Being, to whom all nations stand 
equally related, and are equally accountable, remain 
so easy in it ; but for that the ideas of negroes and 


slaves are so interwoven in the mind, that they do 
not discuss this matter with that candour and free 
dom of thought, which the case justly calls for? 

To come at a right feeling of their condition, 
requires humble serious thinking ; for, in their 
present situation, they have but little to engage 
our natural affection in their favour. 

Had we a son or a daughter involved in the same 
case, in which many of them are, it would alarm us, 
and make us feel their condition without seeking for 
it. The adversity of an intimate friend will incite 
our compassion, while others, equally good, in the 
like trouble, will but little affect us. 

Again, the man in worldly honour, whom we 
consider as our superior, treating us with kindness 
and generosity, begets a return of gratitude and 
friendship toward him. We may receive as great 
benefits from men a degree lower than ourselves, 
in the common way of reckoning, and feel our 
selves less engaged in favour of them. Such is our 
condition by nature ; and these things being nar 
rowly watched and examined, will be found to 
centre in self-love. 

The blacks secrn far from being our kinsfolks, 
and did we find an agreeable disposition and sound 
understanding in some of them, which appeared as 
a good foundation for a true friendship between us, 
the disgrace arising from an open friendship with a 
person of so vile a stock, in the common esteem, 
would naturally tend to hinder it. They have 
neither honours, riches, outward magnificence, nor 
power; their dress, coarse, and often ragged; their 


employ, drudgery, and much in the dirt; they have 
little or nothing at command ; but must wait upon 
and work for others, to obtain the necessaries of 
life ; so that in their present situation, there is not 
much to engage the friendship or move the affection 
of selfish men, but for such as live in the spirit of 
true charity, to sympathize with the afflicted in the 
lowest stations of life, is a thing familiar to them. 

Such is the kindness of our Creator, that people, 
applying their minds to sound wisdom, may, in 
general, with moderate exercise, live comfortably, 
where no misapplied power hinders it. We in 
these parts have cause gratefully to acknowledge 
it. But men leaving the true use of things, their 
lives are less calm, and have less of real happiness 
in them. 

Many are desirous of purchasing and keeping 
slaves, that they may live in some measure con 
formable to those customs of the times, which have 
in them a tincture of luxury ; for when we, in the 
least degree, depart from that use of the creatures, 
for which the Creator of all things intended them, 
there luxury begins. 

And if we consider this way of life seriously, we 
shall see there is nothing in it sufficient to induce 
a wise man to choose it, before a plain, simple, way 
of living. If we examine stately buildings and 
equipage, delicious food, superfine clothes, silks, 
and linens ; if we consider the splendor of choice 
metal fastened upon raiment, and the most showy 
inventions of men ; it will yet appear that the hum 
ble-minded man, who is contented with the true use 


of houses,, food, and garments, and chear fully exer- 
ciseth himself agreeable to his station in civil so 
ciety,, to earn them, acts more reasonably, and dis 
covers more soundness of understanding in his con 
duct, than such as lay heavy burdens on others, 
to support themselves in a luxurious way of living. 

George Buchanan, in his History of Scotland, page 
62, tells of some ancient inhabitants of Britain, who 
were derived from a people that <( had a way of 
marking their bodies, as some said, with instruments 
of iron, with variety of pictures, and with animals 
of all shapes, and wore no garments, that they 
should not hide their pictures ; and were therefore 
called Picts." 

Did we see those people shrink with pain, for a 
considerable time together, under the point or edge 
of this iron instrument, and their bodies all bloody 
with the operation ; did we see them sometimes 
naked, suffering with cold, and refuse to put on 
garments, that those imaginary ensigns of gran 
deur might not be concealed, it is likely we should 
pity their folly, and fondness for those things ; but 
if we candidly compare their conduct, in that case, 
with some conduct amongst ourselves, will it not 

o * 

appear that our folly is the greatest ? 

In true gospel simplicity, free from all wrong use 
of things, a spirit which breathes peace and good 
will is cherished ; but when we aspire after imagi 
nary grandeur, and apply to selfish means to attain 
our end, this desire, in its original, is the same with 
the Picts, in cutting figures on their bodies ; but 


the evil consequences attending 1 our proceedings 
are the greatest. 

A covetous mind, which seeks opportunity to ex 
alt itself, is a great enemy to true harmony in a 
country : envy and grudging usually accompany 
this disposition, and it tends to stir up its likeness 
in others. And where this disposition ariseth so 
high, as to embolden us to look upon honest, in 
dustrious men as our own property during life, and 
to keep them to hard labour, to support us in those 
customs which have not their foundation in right 
reason ; or to use any means of oppression ; a 
haughty spirit is cherished on one side, and the de 
sire of revenge frequently on the other, until the 
inhabitants of the land are ripe for great commotion 
and trouble ; and thus luxury and oppression have 
the seeds of war and desolation in them. 

Some account of the Slave Trade ; from the Writ 
ings of persons who have been at the places where 
they are first purchased, viz. 

BOSMAN on Guinea, who was a factor for the 
Dutch about sixteen years in that country, (page 
339) thus remarks : " But since I have so often 
mentioned that commerce, I shall describe how it 
is managed by our factors. The first business of one 
of our factors, when he comes to Pida, is to satisfy 
the customs of the king, and the great men, which 
amount to about one hundred pounds, in Guinea 


value, as the goods must sell there. After which 
we have free licence to trade, which is published 
throughout the whole land by the cryer. Arid yet 
before we can deal with any person, we are obliged 
to buy the king s whole stock of slaves, at a set 
price ; which is commonly one-third or fourth higher 
than ordinary. After which, we have free leave to 
deal with all his subjects, of what rank soever. But 
if there happen to be no stock of slaves, the factor 
must resolve to run the risk of trusting the inhabi 
tants with goods, to the value of one or two hun 
dred slaves; which commodities they send into the 
inland country, in order to buy with them slaves at 
all markets, and that sometimes two hundred miles 
deep in the country. For you ought to be informed, 
that markets of men are here kept in the same man 
ner as those of beasts are with us. 

Cf Most of the slaves which are offered to us, are 
prisoners of war, which are sold by the victors as 
their booty. When these slaves corne to Fida, 
they are put in prisons altogether ; and when we 
treat concerning them, they are all brought out in 
a large plain, where, by our surgeons, whose pro 
vince it is, they are thoroughly examined, even to 
the smallest member, and that naked, both men 
and women, without the least distinction or mo 
desty. Those which are approved as good, are set 
on one side. The invalids and maimed being 
thrown out, the remainder are numbered, and it is 
entered who delivered them : in the mean while a 
burning iron, with the arms or name of the com 
pany, lies in the fire, with which ours are marked on 


the breast. This is done that we may distinguish 
them from the slaves of the English, French, or 
others. When we have agreed with the owners of 
the slaves, they are returned to their prisons, where 
from that time forward, they are kept at our charge, 
cost us twopence a day a slave, which serves to 
subsist them, like our criminals, on bread and 
water : so that to save charges, we send them on 
board our ships the first opportunity ; before which 
their masters strip them of all they have on their 
backs, so that they come on board stark naked, as 
well women as men ; in which condition they are 
obliged to continue, if the master of the ship is not 
so charitable (which he commonly is) as to bestow 
something on them, to cover their nakedness. 

Same author, page 310. ff The inhabitants of 
Popo, as well as those of Goto, depend on plunder, 
and the slave-trade, in both which they very much 
exceed the latter; for being endowed with more 
courage, they rob more successfully, and by that 
means increase their trade: notwithstanding which, 
to freight a vessel with slaves, requires some 
months attendance. In the year 1697, in three 
days time I could get but three slaves ; but they 
assured me, that if I would have patience for ano 
ther three days only, they should be able to deliver 
one or two hundred/ 

Bosnian, page 440. " We cast anchor at Cape 
Mizurada, but not one negro coming on board, I 
went on shore; and being desirous to be informed 
why they did not come on board, was answered, 
that about two months before, the English had been 


there with two vessels, and had ravaged the coun 
try, destroyed all their canoes, plundered their 
houses, and carried off some of their people for 
slaves; upon which the remainder fled to the 
inland country. They tell us, they live in peace 
with all their neighbours, and have no notion of any 
other enemy than the English; of which nation they 
had taken some then : and publicly declared, that 
they would endeavour to get as many of them, as 
the two mentioned ships had carried off of their 
natives. These unhappy English were in danger 
of being sacrificed to the memory of their friends, 
which some of their nation carried off." 

Extracts from a Collection of Voyages, VoL I. 

The author, a popish missionary, speaking of his 
departing from the negro country to Brazil, saith, 
fc I remember the duke of Bambay (a negro chief) 
one day sent me several blacks, to be rny slaves, 
which I would not accept of; but sent them back 
to him. I afterwards told him, I came not into his 
country to make slaves ; but rather to deliver those 
from the slavery of the devil, whom he kept in 
miserable thraldom. The ship I went aboard was 
loaded with elephants teeth, and slaves, to the 
number of six hundred and eighty, men, women, 
and children. It was a pitiful sight to behold how 
all these people were bestowed. The men were 
standing in the hold, fastened one to another with 


stakes, for fear they should rise and kill the whites : 
the women were between the decks, and those that 
were with child in the great cabin : the children in 
the steerage, pressed together like herrings in a 
barrel ; which caused an intolerable heat and 
stench." Page 507. 

ff It is now time (saith the same author) to speak 
of a brutish custom these people have amongst them 
in making slaves ; which I take not to be lawful for 
any person of a good conscience to buy." 

He then describes how women betray men into 
slavery, and adds, fc There are others going up into 
the inland country, and, through pretence of juris 
diction, seize men upon any trifling offence, and sell 
them for slaves." Page 537. 

The author of this treatise, conversing with a 
person of good credit, was informed by him that in 
his youth while in England, he was minded to come 
to America, and happening on a vessel bound for 
Guinea, and from thence into America, he, with a 
view to see Africa, went on board her, and continued 
with them in their voyage, and so came into this 
country. Among other circumstances he related 
these: " They purchased on the coast about three 
hundred slaves : some of them he understood were 
captives of war; some stolen by other negroes 
privately. When they had got many slaves on 
board, but were still on that coast, a plot was laid 
by an old negro, notwithstanding the men had irons 
on their hands and feet, to kill the English and 
take the vessel ; which being discovered, the man 


was hanged,, and many of the slaves made to shoot 
at him as he hung 1 up/ 

Cf Another slave was charged with having a de 
sign to kill the English; and the captain spoke to 
him in relation to the charge brought against him, 
as he stood on deck ; whereupon he immediately 
threw himself into the sea, and was drowned/ 

{C Several negroes., confined on board,, were, he 
said, so extremely uneasy with their condition, that 
after many endeavours used, they could never make 
them eat nor drink, after they came into the vessel; 
but in a desperate resolution starved themselves to 
death, behaving toward the last like madmen/ 

In Randal s Geography, printed 1744, we are in 
formed, " That in a time of full peace nothing is 
more common than for the negroes of one nation to 
steal those of another, and sell them to the Euro 
peans. It is thought that the English transmit 
annually near fifty thousand of these unhappy crea 
tures ; and the other European nations together, 
about two hundred thousand more." 

It is through the goodness of God that the re 
formation from gross idolatry and barbarity hath 
been thus far effected ; if we consider our condi 
tions as Christians, and the benefits we enjoy, and 
compare them with the condition of those people, 
and consider that our nation trading with them for 
their country produce, have had an opportunity of 
imparting useful instructions to them, and remember 
that but little pains have been taken therein, it 
must look like an indifference in us. But when we 
reflect on a custom the most shocking of any 


amongst them, and remember that, with a view to 
outward gain, we have joined as parties in it ; that 
our concurrence with them in their barbarous pro 
ceedings, has tended to harden them in cruelty, 
and been a means of increasing calamities in their 
country ; we must own that herein we have acted 
contrary to those worthies whose lives and sub 
stance were spent in propagating truth and right 
eousness amongst the heathen. When Saul, by 
the hand of Doeg, slew fourscore priests at once, he 
had a jealousy that one of them at least was con 
federate with David, whom he considered as his 
enemy. Herod slaying all the male children in 
Bethlehem of two years old and under, was an act 
of uncommon cruelty ; but he supposed there was 
a male child there, within that age, who was likely 
to be king of the Jews, and finding no way to de 
stroy him but by destroying them all, thought this 
the most effectual means to secure the kingdom to 
his own family. 

When the sentence against the Protestants of 
Marindol, &c. in France, was put in execution, 
great numbers of people fled to the wilderness ; 
amongst whom were ancient people, women great 
with child, and others with babes in their arms> 
who endured calamities grievous to relate, and iu 
the end some perished with hunger, and many were 
destroyed by fire and the sword ; but they had this 
objection against them, that they obstinately per 
sisted in opposition to holy mother church, and 
being heretics, it was right to work their ruin and 


extirpation, and raze out their memory from among 
men. Fox s Acts and Monuments,, p. 646. 

In favour of those cruelties,, every one had what 
they deemed a plea. These scenes of blood and 
cruelty among the barbarous inhabitants of Guinea, 
are riot less terrible than those now mentioned. 
They are continued from one age to another, and 
we make ourselves parties and fellow-helpers in 
them ; nor do 1 see that we have any plea in our 
favour more plausible than the plea of Saul, of 
Herod, or the French,, in those slaughters. 

Many who are parties in this trade, by keeping 
slaves with views of self-interest, were they to go as 
soldiers in one of these inland expeditions to catch 
slaves, they must necessarily grow dissatisfied with 
such employ, or cease to profess their religious 
principles. And though the first and most striking 
part of the scene is done at a great distance, and by 
other hands, yet every one who is acquainted with 
the circumstances, and notwithstanding joins in it 
for the sake of gain only, must, hi the nature of 
things, be chargeable with the others. 

Should we consider ourselves present as spec 
tators, when cruel negroes privately catch innocent 
children, who are employed in the fields ; hear 
their lamentable cries, under the most terrifying 
apprehensions or should we look upon it as hap 
pening in our own families, having our children 
carried off by savages, we must needs own, that 
such proceedings are contrary to the nature of 
Christianity : should we meditate on the wars 
which are greatly increased by this trade, an4 on 



that affliction which many thousands live in, 
through apprehensions of being taken or slain ; on 
the terror and amazement that villages are in., when 
surrounded by these troops of enterprizers ; on the 
great pain and misery of groaning dying men,, who 
get wounded in those skirmishes ; we shall neces 
sarily see, that it is impossible to be parties in such 
trade, on the motives of gain, and retain our inno 

Should we consider the case of multitudes of 
those people, who, in a fruitful soil and hot cli 
mate, with a little labour, raise grain, roots, and 
pulse, to eat ; spin and weave cotton, and fasten 
together the large feathers of fowls, to cover their 
nakedness; many of whom, in much simplicity, 
live inoffensively in their cottages, and take great 
comfort in raising up children. 

Should we contemplate on their circumstances 
when suddenly attacked, and labour to understand 
their inexpressible anguish of soul, who survive the 
conflict : should we think on inoffensive women who 
fled at the alarm, and at their return saw that 
village, in which they and their acquaintance were 
raised up, and had pleasantly spent their youthful 
days, now lying in a gloomy desolation ; some 
shocked at finding the mangled bodies of their near 
friends amongst the slain ; others bemoaning the 
absence of a brother, a sister, a child, or a whole 
family of children, who, by cruel men, are bound 
and carried to market, to be sold, without the least 
hopes of seeing them again : add to this, the af 
flicted condition of these poor captives, who are 


separated from family connexions, and all the com 
forts arising from friendship and acquaintance, 
carried amongst a people of a strange language,, to 
be parted from their fellow captives, put to labour 
in a manner more servile and wearisome than what 
they were used to., with many sorrowful circum 
stances attending their slavery ; and we must 
necessarily see, that it belongs not to the followers 
of Christ to be parties in such a trade, on the motives 
of outward gain. 

Though there were wars and desolation among 
the negroes before the Europeans began to trade 
there for slaves, yet now the calamities are greatly 
increased, so many thousands being ann ually brought 
from thence ; and we, by purchasing them, with 
views of self-interest, are become parties with them, 
and accessary to that increase. 

In this case we are not joining against an enemy 
who is fomenting discords on our continent, and 
using all possible means to make slaves of us and 
our children ; but against a people who have not 
injured us. 

If those who were spoiled and wronged, should 
at length make slaves of their oppressors, and con 
tinue slavery to their posterity, it would look rigor 
ous to candid men ; but to act that part toward a 
people, when neither they nor their fathers have 
injured us, hath something in it extraordinary, and 
requires our serious attention. 

Our children breaking a bone, getting so bruised 
that a leg or an arm must be taken off; lost for 
a few hours, so that we despair of their being found 

u 2 


; a friend hurt, so that ho dieth in a day or 
two ; these move MS with grief. Did \ve attend 
to these scenes in Africa, in like manner as if they 
were transacted in our presence ; and sympathize 
With the negroes in all their afflictions and miseries, 
as we do with our children or friends ; we should 
be more careful to do nothing in any degree helping 
forward a trade productive of so many and so great 
calamities. Great distance makes nothing in our 


favour. To willingly join with unrighteousness to 
the injury of men who live some thousand miles off, 
is the same, in substance, as joining with it to the 
injury of our neighbours. 

In the eye of pure justice, actions are regarded 
according to the spirit and disposition they arise 
from. Some evils are accounted scandalous, and 
the desire of reputation may keep selfish men from 
appearing openly in them ; but he, who is shy on 
that account, and yet by indirect means promotes 
that evil, and shares in the profit of it, cannot be 

He who, with a view to self-interest, buys a slave, 
made so by violence, and only on the strength of 
such purchase holds him a slave, thereby joins hands 
with those who committed that violence, and, in the 
nature of things, becomes chargeable with the guilt. 

Suppose a man wants a slave, and, being in 
Guinea, goes and hides by the path where boys 
pass from one little town to another, and there 
catches one the day he expects to sail ; and, taking 
him on board, brings him home, without any ag 
gravating circumstances. Suppose another buys a 


man, taken by iheiri who live by plunder and the 
slave-trade : they often steal them privately, and 
often shed much blood in getting them. He who 
buys the slaves thus taken, pays those men for their 
wickedness, and makes himself party with them. 

Whatever nicety of distinction there may be 
betwixt going in person on expeditions to catch 
slaves, and buying those, with a view to self- 
interest, which others have taken ; it is clear and 
plain, to an upright mind, that such distinction is 
in words, not in substance ; for the parties are con 
cerned in the same work, and have a necessary 
connexion with, and dependence on each other ; 
for were there none to purchase slaves, they who 
live by stealing and selling them, would of conse 
quence do less at it. 

Some would buy a negro brought from Guinea, 
with a view to self-interest, and keep him a slave, 
\vho yet would seem to scruple to take arms and 
join with men employed in taking slaves. 

Others have civil negroes, who were born in our 
country, capable and likely to manage well for 
themselves; whom they keep as slaves, without 
ever trying them with freedom, and take the profit 
of their labour as a part of their estates, and yet 
disapprove bringing them from their own country. 
If those negroes had come here as merchants, 
with their ivory and gold-dust, in order to trade 
with us, and some powerful person had taken their 
effects to himself, and then put them to hard labour, 
and ever after considered them as slaves, the action 
would be looked upon as unrighteous. 


Those negro merchants having children after 
their being among us, whose endowments and con- 
duct were like other people s in common, if, on their 
attaining to mature age, and requesting to have 
their liberty, they should be told they were born in 
slavery, and were lawful slaves, and therefore their 
request should be denied ; such conduct toward 
them, would be looked upon as unfair and oppres 

In the present case, relating to home-born negroes, 
whose understandings and behaviour are as good as 
common among other people, if we have any claim 
to them as slaves, that claim is grounded on their 
being children or offspring of slaves, who, in gene 
ral, were made such through means as unrighteous, 
and attended with more terrible circumstances than 
the case last supposed ; so that when we trace our 
claim to the bottom, these home-born negroes hav 
ing paid for their education, and given reasonable 
security to those who owned them, in case of their 
becoming chargeable, we have no more equitable 
right to their service, than we should if they were 
the children of honest merchants who came from 
Guinea in an English vessel to trade with us. 

If we claim any right to them as the children of 
slaves, we build on the foundation laid by them 
who made slaves of their ancestors ; so that of ne 
cessity we must either justify the trade, or relin 
quish our right to them, as being the children of 

Why should it seem right to honest men to make 
advantage by these people more than by others ? 


Others enjoy freedom, and receive wages equal to 
their work,, at or near such time as they have dis 
charged the equitable obligations they are under to 
those who educated them these have made no 
contract to serve ; been no more expensive in rais 
ing up than others, and many of them appear as 
likely to make a right use of freedom as other peo 
ple ; which way then can an honest man withhold 
from them that liberty, which is the free gift of the 
Most High to his rational creatures ? 

The upright in heart cannot succeed the wicked 
in their wickedness ; nor is it consonant to the life 
they live, to hold fast an advantage unjustly gained. 

The negroes who live by plunder and the slave- 
trade, steal poor innocent children, invade their 
neighbours territories, and spill much blood to get 
these slaves ; arid can it be possible for an honest 
man to think that, with a view to self-interest, we 
may continue slavery to the offspring of these un 
happy sufferers, merely because they are the children 
of slaves, and not have a share of this guilt ? 

It is granted by many, that the means used in 
getting them are unrighteous, and that buying them, 
when brought here, is wrong ; yet, as setting them 
free is attended with some difficulty, they do riot 
comply with it ; but seem to be of the opinion, that 
to give them food and raiment, and keep them ser 
vants without any other wages, is the best way to 
manage them that they know of; and hoping 
that their children after them will not be cruel to 
the negroes, conclude to leave them as slaves to 
their children. 


While present outward interest is the chief ob 
ject of our attention,, we shall feel many objections 
in our minds against renouncing our claim to them, 
as the children of slaves ; for being prepossessed 
with wrong opinions, prevents our seeing things 
clearly, which, to indifferent persons, are easy to 
be seen. 

Suppose a person seventy years past, in low cir 
cumstances,, bought a negro man and woman, and 
that the children of such person are now wealthy, 
and have the children of such slaves. Admit that 
the first negro man and his wife did as much bu-r 
siness as their master and mistress,, and that the 
chili! ren of the slaves have done some more than 
their young masters. Suppose, on the whole,, thai 
the expense of living has been less on the negroes 
side, than on the other (all which are no improba 
ble suppositions^) it follows, that in equity, these 
negroes have a right to a part of this increase : that 
should some difficulties arise on their being set free 
there is reason for us patiently to labour through 

As the conduct of men varies, relating to civil 
society ; so different treatment is justly due to 
them. Indiscreet men occasion trouble in the world ; 
and it remains to be the care of such, who seek the 
good of mankind, to admonish as they find occa 

The slothfulness of some of them, in providing for 
themselves and families, it is likely, would require 
the notice of their neighbours; nor is it unlikely 
that some would, with justice, be made servants, 


and others punished for their crimes. Pure justice 
points out to each individual his due ; but to deny 
a people the privilege of human creatures, on a sup 
position, that, being free, many of them would be 
troublesome to us, is to mix the condition of good 
and bad men together, and treat the whole as the 
worst of them deserve. 

If we seriously consider, that liberty is the right 
of innocent men ; that the mighty God is a refuge 
for the oppressed; that in reality we are indebted to 
them ; that they being set free, are still liable to the 
penalties of our laws, and as likely to have punish 
ment for their crimes as other people : this may 
answer all our objections. And to retain them in 
perpetual servitude, without just cause for it, will 
produce effects, in the event, more grievous than 
setting them free would do, when a real love to 
truth and equity was the motive to it. 

Our authority over them stands originally hi a 
purchase made from those who, as to the general, 
obtained theirs by unrighteousness. Whenever we 
have recourse to such authority, it tends more or 
less to obstruct the channels, through which the 
perfect plant in us receives nourishment. 

There is a principle, which is pure, placed in the 
human mind, which in different places and ages hath 
had different names ; it is, however, pure, and pro 
ceeds from God. It is deep, and inward, confined 
to no forms of religion, rior excluded from any, 
where the heart stands in perfect sincerity. In 
whomsoever this takes root, and grows, of what na 
tion soever, they become brethren, in the best sense 


of the expression. Using ourselves to take ways 
which appear most easy to us, when inconsistent 
with that purity, which is without beginning, we 
thereby set up a government of our own, and deny 
obedience to Him, whose service is true liberty. 

He that hath a servant, made so wrongfully, and 
knows it to be so, when he treats him otherwise than 
a free man, when he reaps the benefit of his labour, 
without paying him such wages as are reasonably 
due to freemen for the like service, clothes except- 
ed; these things, though done in calmness, without 
any show of disorder, do yet deprave the mind in 
like manner, and with as great certainty, as prevail 
ing cold congeals water. These steps taken by 
masters, and their conduct striking the minds of 
their children whilst young, leave less room for that 
which is good to work upon them. The customs 
of their parents, their neighbours, and the people 
with whom they converse, working upon their 
minds; and they, from thence conceiving ideas of 
things, and modes of conduct, the entrance into 
their hearts becomes, in a great measure, shut up 
against the gentle rnovings of uncreated purity. 

From one age to another, the gloom grows 
thicker and darker, till error gets established by 
general opinion ; that whoever attends to perfect 
goodness, and remains under the melting influence 
of it, finds a path unknown to many, and sees the 
necessity to lean upon the arm of divine strength, 
and dwell alone ; or with a few in the right, com 
mitting their cause to Him, who is a refuge for his 
people in all their troubles. 


Where, through the agreement of a multitude, 
some channels of justice are stopped, and men may 
support their characters,, as just men, by being just 
to a party, there is great danger of contracting an 
alliance with that spirit, which stands in opposition 
to the God of love, and spreads discord, trouble, 
and vexation, among such as give up to the 
influence of it. 

Negroes are our fellow-creatures., and their pre 
sent condition amongst us requires our serious con 
sideration. We know not the time when those 
scales, in which mountains are weighed, may turn. 
The Parent of mankind is gracious : his care is 
over his smallest creatures; and a multitude of men 
escape riot his notice ; and though many of them 
are trodden down, and despised, yet He remembers 
them. He seeth their affliction, and looketh upon 
the spreading,increasing, exaltation of the oppressor. 
He turns the channels of power, humbles the most 
haughty people, and gives deliverance to the op 
pressed, at such periods as are consistent with his 
infinite justice and goodness. And wherever gain 
is preferred to equity, and wrong things publicly 
encouraged to that degree, that wickedness takes 
root, and spreads wide amongst the inhabitants of 
a country, there is real cause for sorrow to all 
such, whose love to mankind stands on a true prin 
ciple, and who wisely consider the end and event of 

JffB r^fR.t3NH?iJftOD k> Ttj^nnB^lKCX J^j V.i ) r , 








[First printed in the Year 1768.] 


MY mind hath often been affected with sorrow on 
account of the prevailing of that spirit, which leads 
from an humble waiting on the inward teaching of 
Christ, to pursue ways of living, attended with un 
necessary labour, and which draws forth the minds 
of many people to seek after outward power, and 
to strive for riches, which frequently introduce op 
pression, and bring forth wars and grievous calami 

It is with reverence that I acknowledge the mer 
cies of our heavenly Father, who, in infinite love, 


did visit me in my youth, and wrought a belief in 
me, that through true obedience a state of inward 
purity may be known in this life, in which we may 
love mankind in the same love with which our 
Redeemer loveth us, and therein learn resignation 
to endure hardships, for the real good of others. 

fc While the eye is single, the whole body is full 
of light/ Matt. vi. 22. but for want of this, selfish 
desires, and an imaginary superiority, darken the 
mind: hence injustice frequently proceeds; and 
where this is the case to convince the judgment, is 
the most effectual remedy. 

Where violent measures are pursued in opposing 
injustice, the passions and resentments of the in 
jured, frequently operate in the prosecution of their 
designs ; and, after conflicts productive of very 
great calamities, the minds of contending parties 
often remain as little acquainted with the pure prin 
ciple of divine love, as they were before ; but where 
people walk in that pure light in which all their 
" works are wrought in God/ John iii. 21. and, 
under oppression, persevere in the meek spirit, 
and abide firm in the cause of truth, without 
actively complying with oppressive demands, 
through those the Lord hath often manifested his 
power, in opening the understandings of others, to 
the promoting of righteousness in the earth. 

A time, I believe is coming, wherein this divine 
work will so spread arid prevail, that " Nation shall 
not lift up sword against nation, nor learn war any 
more/ Isaiah, ii. 4. And as we, through the ten- 


der mercies of God,, do feel that this precious work 
is begun,, I am concerned to encourage my breth 
ren and sisters in a holy care and diligence, that 
each of us may so live under the sanctifying power 
of truth, as to be redeemed from all unnecessary 
cares ; that our eye being single to Him,, no customs 
however prevalent, which are contrary to the wis 
dom from above, may hinder us from faithfully fol 
lowing his holy leadings, in whatsoever he may 
graciously appoint for us. 


The wisdom that is from above, is first pure, then peaceable, 
gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy, and good fruits, 
without partiality, and without hypocrisy." JAMES iii. 17. 

On Pure Wisdom, and Human Policy. 

To have our trust settled in the Lord, and not 
to seek after, nor desire outward treasures, any fur 
ther than his Holy Spirit leads us therein, is a 
happy state, as saith the prophet, ee Blessed is the 
man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the 
Lord is." 

Pure wisdom leads people into lowliness of mind, 
in which they learn resignation to the divine will, 
and contentment in suffering for his cause, when 
they cannot keep a clear conscience without suf 

In this pure wisdom the mind is attentive to the 
root, and original spring of motions and desires ; 
and as we know "the Lord to be our refuge/ and 
find no safety, but in humbly walking before Him ; 
we feel an holy engagement, that every desire 
which leads therefrom may be brought to judg 


While we proceed in this precious way, and find 
ardent longings for a full deliverance from every 
thing which defiles ; all prospects of gain,, that are 
not consistent with the wisdom from above, are con 
sidered as snares, and an inward concern is felt, that 
we may live under the cross, and faithfully attend 
to that Holy Spirit., which is sufficient to preserve 
out of them. 

When I have considered that saying of Christ, 
Mat. vi. 19, C( Lay not up for yourselves treasures 
upon earth ;" his omnipotence hath often occurred 
to my mind. 

While we believe that He is every where present 
with his people, and, that perfect goodness, wisdom 
and power, are united in Him, how comfortable is 
the consideration. 

Our wants may be great, but his power is greater. 
We may be oppressed and despised, but He is able 
to turn our patient sufferings into profit to our 
selves, and to the advancement of his work on 
earth. His people, who feel the power of his cross, 
to crucify all that is selfish in them ; who are en 
gaged in outward concerns, from a convincernent 
that it is their duty, and resign themselves, and their 
treasures, to Him ; these feel that it is dangerous to 
give way to that in us, which craves riches and 
greatness in this world. 

As the heart, truly contrite, earnestly desires cc to 
know Christ, and the fellowship of his sufferings/ 
Phil. iii. 10. so far as the Lord for gracious ends 
may lead into them ; as such, feel that it is their in 
terest to put their trust in God, and to seek no gain 


but that which he, by his Holy Spirit, leads into ; 
so, on the contrary, they who do not reverently wait 
for this divine teacher, and are not humbly con 
cerned, according 1 to their measure, " to fill up that 
which is behind of the afflictions of Christ," Col. i. 
#4, in patiently suffering for the promoting- of right 
eousness in the earth ; but have an eye toward the 
power of men, and the outward advantage of wealth, 
these are often attentive to those employments 
which appear profitable, even though the gains 
arise from such trade and business which proceeds 
from the working s of that spirit, which is estranged 
from the self-denying life of an humble, contrite 

While I write on this subject, I feel my mind ten 
derly affected toward those honestly disposed peo 
ple, who have been brought up in employments 
attended with those difficulties. 

To such I may say, in the feeling of our heavenly 
Father s love, and number myself with you, O that 
our eyes may be single to the Lord ! May we 
reverently wait on him for strength, to lay aside all 
unnecessary expense of every kind, and learn con 
tentment in a plain, simple life. 

May we, in lowliness, submit to the leadings of his 
spirit, and enter upon any outward employ which He 
graciously points out to us, and then whatever diffi 
culties arise, in consequence of our faithfulness, I 
trust they will work for our good. 

Small treasure to a resigned mind is sufficient. 
How happy is it to be content with a little, tp live 


in humility, and feel that in us, which breathes out 
this language, Abba ! Father. 

If that, called the wisdom of this world, had no 
resemblance to true wisdom, the name of wisdom, 
I suppose, had not been given to it. 

As wasting outward substance, to gratify vain 
desires, on one hand ; so slothfulness and neglect, 
on the other, do often involve men and their fami 
lies in trouble, and reduce them to want and dis 
tress. To shun both these opposite vices, is good in 
itself, and hath a resemblance to wisdom ; but while 
people thus provident, have it principally in view to 
get riches, and power, and the friendship of this 
world, and do not humbly wait for the spirit of truth 
to lead them in purity; these through an anxious 
care to obtain the end desired, reach forth for gain 
in worldly wisdom, and in regard to their inward 
state, fall into divers temptations and snares. And 
though such may think of applying wealth to good 
purposes, and using their power to prevent oppres 
sion, yet wealth and power are often applied other 
wise; nor can we depart from the leadings of our 
holy shepherd, without going into confusion. 

Great wealth is frequently attended with power, 
which nothing but divine love can qualify the mind 
to use rightly ; and, as to the humility, and upright 
ness of our children after us, how great is the un 
certainty! If, in acquiring wealth, we take hold on 
the wisdom which is from beneath, and depart 
from the leadings of truth, and example our chil 
dren herein, we have great cause to apprehend,, 


that wealth may be a snare to them ; and prove an 
injury to others, over whom their wealth may give 
them power. 

To be redeemed from that wisdom which is from 
beneath, and walk in the light of the Lord, is a 
precious situation ; thus his people are brought to 
put their trust in Him ; and, in this humble confi 
dence in his wisdom, goodness and power, the right 
eous find a refuge in adversities, superior to the 
greatest outward helps, and a comfort more certain 
than any worldly advantages can afford. 

On Labour. 

Having, from my childhood, been used to bodily 
labour for a living, I may express my experience 

Right exercise affords an innocent pleasure in the 
time of it, and prepares us to enjoy the sweetness 
of rest ; but, from the extremes each way, arise in- 

Moderate exercise opens the pores, gives the 
blood a lively circulation, and the better enables us 
to judge rightly respecting that portion of labour 
which is the true medium. 

The fowls of the air sow not, nor gather into 
barns, yet our heavenly Father feedeth them/ 
Matt. vi. 26; nor do I believe that infinite good 
ness and power would have allotted labour to us, 
had He not seen that labour was proper for us in 
this life. 

x 2 


The original design, and true medium of labour, 
is a subject, that, to me, appears worthy of our 
serious consideration. 

Idle men are often a burden to themselves, neg 
lect the duty they owe to their families, and become 
burdensome to others also. 

As outward labour, directed by the wisdom from 
above, tends to our health, and adds to our happi 
ness in this life ; so, on the contrary, entering upon 
it in a selfish spirit, and pursuing it too long, or too 
hard, has a contrary effect. 

I have observed, that too much labour not only 
makes the understanding dull, but so intrudes upon 
the harmony of the body, that, after ceasing from 
our toil, we have another to pass through, before 
\ve can be so composed as to enjoy the sweetness 
of rest. 

From too much labour in the heat, frequently 
proceed immoderate sweats, which do often, I be 
lieve, open the way for disorders, and impair our 

When we go beyond the true medium, and feel 
weariness approaching, but think business may suf 
fer if we cease, at such a time spirituous liquors are 
frequently taken, with a view to support nature 
under these fatigues. 

I have found that too much labour, in the sum 
mer, heats the blood ; that taking strong drink to 
support the body under such labour, increaseth that 
heat, and though a person may be so far temperate 
as not to manifest the least disorder, yet the mind, 
in such a circumstance, doth not retain that calm- 

ness and serenity,, which we should endeavour to 
live in. 

Thus toiling in the heat, and drinking strong 
liquor, make men more resolute, and less consi 
derate, and tend very much to disqualify them 
from successfully following Him who was meek and 
low of heart. 

As laying out business, more than is consistent 
with pure wisdom, is an evil, so this evil frequently 
leads into more. Too much business leads to 
hurry. In the hurry and toil, too much strong 
drink is often used, and hereby many proceed to 
noise, wantonness, and some, though more consi 
derate, do often suffer loss, as to a true composed - 
ness of mind. 

I feel sincere desires in my heart, that no rent, 
nor interest, might be laid so high as to be a snare 
to tenants ; that no desires of gain may draw any 
too far in business ; that no cares to support cus 
toms, which have not their foundation in pure 
wisdom, may have place in our minds; but that we 
may build on the sure foundation, and feel our holy 
Shepherd to lead us, who alone is able to preserve 
us, and bring forth from every thing that defiles. 

Having several times, in my travels, had oppor 
tunity to observe the labour and manner of life of 
great numbers of slaves, it appears to me that the 
true medium is lamentably neglected by many, who 
assign them their portion of labour. 

Without saying much at this time, concerning 
buying and selling men for term of life, who have 
as just a right to liberty as we have, nor about the 


great miseries, and effusion of blood,, consequent on 
promoting the slave trade; and to speak as favour 
ably as may be, with regard to continuing those in 
bondage who are amongst us, we cannot say there 
is no partiality in it. For, whatever tenderness may 
be manifested by individuals in their life time, to 
ward them, yet for people to be transmitted from a 
man to his posterity, in the helpless condition of 
slaves, appears inconsistent with the nature of the 
gospel spirit. From such proceedings it often fol 
lows, that persons in the decline of life, are deprived 
of monies equitably due to them, and committed to 
the care, and subjected to the absolute power of 
young unexperienced men, who know but little 
about the weakness of old age, nor understand the 
language of declining life. 

Where parents give their estates to their children, 
and then depend on them for a maintenance, they 
sometimes meet with great inconveniencies; but if 
the power of possession, thus obtained, doth often 
reverse the obligations of gratitude and filial duty, 
and make manifest, that youth are often ignorant 
of the language of old age, how hard is the case 
of ancient negroes, who, deprived of the wages 
equitably due to them, are left to young people, 
who have been used to look upon them as their 

For men to behold the fruits of their labour with 
held from them, and possessed by others, and in old 
age, find themselves destitute of those comfortable 
accommodations, and that tender regard which their 
time of life requires. 

When they feel pains, and stillness in their joints 
and limbs,, weakness of appetite, and that a little 
labour is wearisome, and still behold themselves in 
the neglected, uncomfortable, condition of a slave, 
and, oftentimes, to a young, unsympathising man. 

For men to be thus treated, from one generation 
to another, who, besides their own distresses, think 
on the slavery entailed on their posterity, and are 
grieved! What disagreeable thoughts must they 
have of the professed followers of Jesus! and how 
must their groans ascend to that Almighty Being, 
who " will be a refuge for the oppressed/ Psalm 
ix. 9. 

On Schools. 

r -^ 

.. u Suffer the little children to come unto me ? and forbid them not, 
Xv^^ for of such is the kingdom of God." Mark x. 14. ^/ 

To encourage children to do things with a view 
to get praise of men, to me appears an obstruction 
to their being inwardly acquainted with the spirit of 
truth. For it is the work of the Holy Spirit to 
direct the mind to God, that in all our proceedings 
we may have a single eye to Him. To give alms in 
secret, to fast in secret, and labour to keep clear of 
that disposition reproved by our Saviour, " But all 
their works they do for to be seen of men/ Matt, 
xxiii. 5. 

That divine light which enlightens all men, I 
believe docs often shine in the minds of children 


very early, and to humbly wait for wisdom, that 
our conduct toward them may tend to forward 
their acquaintance with it, and strengthen them in 
obedience thereto, appears to me to be a duty on 
all of us. 

By cherishing the spirit of pride, and the love of 
praise in them, I believe they may sometimes im 
prove faster in learning, than otherwise they would ; 
but to take measures to forward children in learn 
ing, which naturally tend to divert their minds from 
true humility, appears to me to savour of the wis 
dom of this world. 

If tutors are riot acquainted with sanctiiication of 
spirit, nor experienced in an humble waiting for the 
leadings of truth, but follow the maxims of the wis 
dom of this world, such children who are under their 
tuition, appear to me to be in danger of imbibing 
thoughts, and apprehensions, reverse to that meek 
ness, and lowliness of heart, which is necessary for 
all the true followers of Christ. 

Children at an age fit for schools, are in a time 
of life which requires the patient attention of pious 
people, and if we commit them to the tuition of 
such, whose minds we believe are not rightly pre 
pared to " train them up in the nurture and admo 
nition of the Lord/ we are in danger of not acting 
the part of faithful parents toward them. For our 
heavenly Father doth not require us to do evil, that 
good may come of it; and it is needful that we 
deeply examine ourselves, lest we get entangled in 
the wisdom of this world, and through wrong ap 
prehensions, take such methods in education, as 


may prove a great injury to the minds of our 

It is a lovely sight to behold innocent children ! and 
when they are sent to such schools where their ten 
der minds are in imminentdanger of being led astray 
by tutors,, who do not live a self-denying life,, or by 
the conversation of such children, who do not live 
in innocence, it is a case much to be lamented. 

While a pious tutor hath the charge of no more 
children than he can take due care of, and keeps his 
authority in the truth, the good spirit in which he 
leads and governs, works on the minds of such who 
are not hardened,, and his labours not only tend to 
bring them forward in outward learning, but to 
open their understandings with respect to the true 
Christian life ; but where a person hath charge of 
too many, and his thoughts and time are so much 
employed in the outward affairs of his school, that 
he does not so weightily attend to the spirit and 
conduct of each individual, as to be enabled to ad 
minister rightly to all in due season ; through such 
omission he not only suffers, as to the state of his 
own mind, but the minds of the children are in 
danger of suffering also. 

To watch the spirit of children,, to nurture them 
in gospel love, and labour to help them against that 
which would mar the beauty of their minds, is a 
debt we owe them ; and a faithful performance of our 
duty, not only tends to their lasting benefit, and 
our own peace, but also to render their company 
agreeable to us. 

Instruction thus administered, reaches the pure 


witness in the minds of such children who are not 
hardened, and begets love in them toward those who 
thus lead them on; but where too great a number 
are committed to a tutor, and he, through much 
cumber, omits a careful attention to the rninds of 
children, there is danger of disorders gradually in 
creasing amongst them, until the effects thereof 
appear in their conduct, too strong to be easily 

A care hath lived on my mind, that more time 
might be employed by parents at home, and by 
tutors at school, in weightily attending to the spirit 
and inclinations of children, and that we may so 
lead, instruct, and govern them, in this tender part 
of life, that nothing may be omitted in our power, 
to help them on their way to become the children 
of our Father, who is in heaven. 

Meditating on the situation of schools in our pro 
vinces, my mind hath, at times, been affected with 
sorrow, and, under these exercises, it hath appeared 
to me, that if those who have large estates, were 
faithful stewards, and laid no rent, nor interest, nor 
other demand, higher than is consistent with uni 
versal love ; and those in lower circumstances, 
would, under a moderate employ, shun unnecessary 
expense, even to the smallest article ; and all unite, 
in humbly seeking to the Lord, He would graciously 
instruct us, and strengthen us to relieve the youth 
from various snares, in which many of them are 


On the right use of the Lord s outward gifts. 

As our understandings are opened by the pure 
light, we experience that, through an inward ap 
proaching to God, the mind is strengthened in 
obedience ; and that,, by gratifying those desires 
which are not of his begetting, those approaches 
to Him are obstructed, and the deceivable spirit 
gains strength. 

These truths, being as it were engraven upon our 
hearts, and our everlasting interest in Christ evi 
dently concerned herein, we become fervently en 
gaged, that nothing may be nourished which tends 
to feed pride or self-love in us. Thus, in pure obe 
dience, we are not onlv instructed in our duty to 
God, but also in the affairs which necessarily relate 
to this life, and the Spirit of truth, which guides into 
all truth, leavens the mind with a pious concern, 
that whatsoever we do in word or deed, may be 
done in his name. Col. iii. 17. 

Hence, such buildings, furniture, food, and rai 
ment, as best answer our necessities, and are the 
least likely to feed that selfish spirit which is our 
enemy, are the most acceptable to us. 

In this state the mind is tender, arid inwardly 
watchful, that the love of gain draw us not into 
any business, which may weaken our love to our 
heavenly Father, or bring unnecessary trouble to 
any of his creatures. 

Thus the way gradually opens to cease from that 


spirit which craves riches and things fetched far, 
which so mixeth with the customs of this world, 
and so intrudes upon the true harmony of life, that 
the right medium of labour is very much departed 
from. And as the minds of people are settled in a 
steady concern, not to hold nor possess any thing 
but what may be held consistent with the wisdom 
from above, they consider what they possess as the 
gift of God, and are inwardly exercised, that in all 
parts of their conduct they may act agreeably to the 
nature of the peaceable government of Christ. 

A little supports such a life ; and in a state truly 
resigned to the Lord, the eye is single, to see what 
outward employ He leads into, as a means of our 
subsistence, and a lively care is maintained to hold 
to that without launching further. 

There is a harmony in the several parts of this 
divine work in the hearts of people. He who leads 
them to cease from those gainful employments, 
carried on in that wisdom which is from beneath, 
delivers also from the desire after worldly great- 
.ness, and reconciles the mind to a life so plain, that 
a little doth suffice. 

Here the real comforts of life are not lessened. 
Moderate exercise, in the way of true wisdom, is 
pleasant both to mind and body. 

Pood and raiment sufficient, though in the great 
est simplicity, are accepted with content and grati 

The mutual love, subsisting between the faithful 
followers of Christ, is more pure than that friend- 

ship which is not seasoned with humility, how spe 
cious soever the appearance. 

Where people depart from pure wisdom in one 
case, it is often an introduction to depart from it in 
many more; and thus a spirit which seeks for out 
ward greatness, and leads into worldly wisdom to 
attain it, and support it, gets possession of the 

Jn beholding the customary departure from the 
true medium of labour, and that unnecessary toil 
which many go through, -in supporting outward 
greatness, and procuring delicacies. 

In beholding how the true calmness of life is 
changed into hurry, and that many, by eagerly pur 
suing outward treasure, are in great danger of 
withering, as to the inward state of the mind. 

In meditating on the works of this spirit, and on 
the desolations it makes amongst the professors of 
Christianity, I may thankfully acknowledge, that 
I often feel pure love beget longings in my heart, 
for the exaltation of the peaceable kingdom of 
Christ, and an engagement to labour according to 
the gift bestowed on me, for the promoting an hum 
ble, plain, temperate way of living : a life where no 
unnecessary cares, nor expenses, may encumber our 
rninds, nor lessen our ability to do good ; where no 
desires after riches, or greatness, may lead into hard 
dealings; where no connection with worldly-minded 
men, may abate our love to God, nor weaken a 
true zeal for righteousness : a life, wherein we may 
diligently labour for resignedness to do, and suffer, 


whatever our heavenly Father may allot for us, in 
reconciling the world to Himself. 

When the prophet Isaiah had uttered his vision, 
and declared that a time was coming wherein 
swords should be beaten into plough-shares,, and 
spears into priming-hooks, and that nation should 
not lift up sword against nation, nor learn war any 
more; he immediately directs the minds of peo 
ple to the divine teacher, in this remarkable lan 
guage, " O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us 
walk in the light of the Lord." Isaiah ii. 5. 

To wait for the direction of this light, in all tem 
poral as well as spiritual concerns, appears neces 
sary ; for if in any case we enter lightly into tem 
poral affairs, without feeling this Spirit of truth to 
open our way therein, and, through the love of this 
world, proceed on, and seek for gain by that busi 
ness or traffic, which fc is not of the Father, but of 
the world/ 1 John ii. 16, we fail in our testimony 
to the purity and peace of his government ; and get 
into that which is for chastisement. 

This matter hath lain heavy on my mind, it be 
ing evident that, a life less humble, less simple and 
plain, than that which Christ leads his sheep into, 
does necessarily require a support, which pure wis 
dom does not provide for ; hence, there is no pro 
bability of our being cc a peculiar people, so zeal 
ous of good works, as to have no fellowship with 
works of darkness," Titus ii. 14. Ephes, v. 11. 
while we have wants to supply, which have their 
foundation in custom, and do not come within the 


meaning of those expressions, " your heavenly Fa 
ther knoweth that ye have need of all these things." 
Mat. vi. 32. 

These things which He beholds necessary for his 
people, He fails not to give them,, in his own way 
and time; but,, as his ways are above our ways, and 
his thoughts above our thoughts, so, imaginary 
wants are different from these things which he 
knoweth that we have need of. 

As my meditations have been on these things, 
compassion hath filled my heart toward my fellow- 
creatures, involved in customs, grown up in cc the 
wisdom of this world, which is foolishness with 
God/ 1 Cor. iii. 19 ; and, O that the youth may be 
so thoroughly experienced in an humble walking 
before the Lord, that they may be his children, and 
know Him to be their refuge, their safe unfailing 
refuge, through the various dangers attending this 
uncertain state of being ! 

If those whose minds are redeemed from the 
love of wealth, and who are content with a plain 
simple way of living, do yet find that to conduct 
the affairs of a family, without giving countenance 
to unrighteous proceedings, or having fellowship 
with works of darkness, the most diligent care is 

If customs, distinguishable from universal righte 
ousness, and opposite to the true self-denying life, 
are now prevalent, and so mixed with trade, and 
with almost every employ, that it is only through 
humble waiting on the inward guidance of Truth, 


that we may reasonably hope to walk safely, and 
support an uniform testimony to the peaceable go 
vernment of Christ. 

If this be the case, how lamentably do they ex 
pose themselves to temptations, who give way to 
the love of riches, conform to expensive living", 
and reach forth for gain, to support customs, which 
our holy Shepherd leads not into. 




[First printed in the Year 1770.] 


As mankind^ from one parent are divided into 
many families, and as trading to sea is greatly in 
creased within a few ages past ; amidst this ex 
tended commerce, how necessary is it, that the 
professed followers of Christ keep sacred his holy 
name, and be employed about trade and traffic no 
farther than justice and equity evidently accom 
pany? that we may give no just cause of offence 
to any, however distant, or unable to plead their 
own cause ; and may continually keep in view the 
spreading of the true and saving knowledge ot 
God, and his son Jesus Christ, ampngst our fellow- 
creatures, which, through his infinite love., some feel 
to be more precious than any other treasure. 


u And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many peo 
ple, as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that 
tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men." 
MICAII v. 7. 


On serving the Lord in our outward employments. 

UNDER the humbling dispensations of the Father 
of Mercies, I have felt an inward labour for the 
good of my fellow-creatures, and a concern that the 
Holy Spirit, which alone can restore mankind to a 
state of true harmony, may, with singleness of 
heart, be waited for and followed. 

I trust, there are many under that visitation, 
which, if faithfully attended to, will make them 
quick of understanding in the fear of the Lord, and 
qualify with firmness to be true patterns of the 
Christian lire, who, in living and walking, may hold 
forth an invitation to others, to come out of the 
entanglements of the spirit of this world. 

And that which I feel first to express is, a care 
for those who are in circumstances which appear 
difficult, with respect to supporting their families 
in a way answerable to pure wisdom, that they may 


not be discouraged, but remember, that in humbly 
obeying the leading of Christ he owneth us as his 
friends : " Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I 
command you ;" and to be a friend to Christ, is to 
be united to Him who hath all power in heaven 
and in earth ; and, though a woman may forget her 
sucking child, yet will He not forget his faithful 

The condition of many who dwell in cities hath 
often affected me with a brotherly sympathy, at 
tended with a desire, that resignation may be la 
boured for; and where the holy Leader directeth to 
a country life, or some change of employ. He may 
be faithfully followed. For, under the refining hand 
of the Lord, I have seen, that the inhabitants of 
some cities are greatly increased through some 
branches of business, which his Holy Spirit doth not 
lead into, and that being entangled in these things 
tends to bring a cloud over the minds of people 
convinced of the leadings of this holy Leader, and 
obstructs the corning of the kingdom of Christ on 
earth as it is in heaven. 

Now, if we indulge a desire to imitate our neigh 
bours in those things which harmonize not with the 
true Christian walking, these entanglements may 
hold fast to us, and some who, in an awakening time, 
feel tender scruples with respect to their manner of 
life, may look on the example of others more noted 
in the church, who yet may not be refined from 
every degree of dross. By looking on these ex 
amples, and desiring to support their families in 
a way pleasant to the natural mind, there may be 


danger of the worldly wisdom gaining strength in 
them, and of their departure from that pure feeling 
of truth, which, if faithfully attended to, would 
teach contentment in the Divine will, even in a very 
low estate. 

One formerly speaking on the profitableness of 
true humility, saith, fc He that troubles not himself 
with anxious thoughts for more than is necessary, 
lives little less than the life of angels ; whilst, by a 
mind content with little, he imitates their want of 
nothing/ Cave s Primitive Christianity, p. 31. 

" It is not enough, saysTertullian, that a Christian 
be chaste and modest, but he must appear to be so : 
a virtue of which he should have so great a store, 
that it should flow from his mind upon his habit, 
and break from the retirements of his conscience, 
into the superficies of his life/ Ibid. p. 43. 

Cf The garments we wear, says Clemens, ought to 
be mean and frugal. That is true simplicity of 
habit, which takes away what is vain and super 
fluous ; that the best and most solid garment, which 
is the farthest from curiosity/ Ibid, p. 49. 

Though the change from day to night is by a 
motion so gradual as scarcely to be perceived, yet 
when night is come, we behold it very different from 
the day ; and thus, as people become wise in their 
own eyes, and prudent in their own sight, customs 
rise up from the spirit of this world, and spread, by 
little and little, till a departure from the simplicity 
that there is in Christ, becomes as distinguishable as 
light from darkness, to such as are crucified to the 


Our holy Shepherd, to encourage his flock in 
firmness and perseverance, reminds them of his love 
for them. (< As the Father hath loved me, so have 
I loved you; continue ye in my love;" and, in 
another place graciously points out the danger of 
departing therefrom, by going into unsuitable em 
ployments. This he represents in the similitude of 
offence from that useful, active member, the hand ; 
and, to fix the instruction the deeper, names the 
right hand : (C If thy right hand offend thee, cut it 
off, and cast it from thee." If thou feelest offence 
in thy employment, humbly follow him who leads 
into all truth, and is a strong and faithful friend to 
those who are resigned to him. 

Again, he points out those things which, appear 
ing pleasant to the natural mind, are not best for 
us, in the similitude of offence from the eye, f( If 
thy right eye offend thee pluck it out, and cast it 
from thee/ 3 To pluck out the eye, or cut off the 
hand, is attended with sharp pain; and how pre 
cious is the instruction which our Redeemer thus 
opens to us, that we may not faint under the most 
painful trials, but put our trust in Him, even in Him 
who sent an angel to feed Elijah in the wilderness, 
who fed a multitude with a few barley loaves, and 
is now as attentive to the wants of his people as 

The prophet Isaiah represents the unrighteous 
doings of the Israelites toward the poor, as the fruits 
of an effeminate life : " As for my people, children 
are their oppressors, and women rule over them ; 
what mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces, 


and grind the faces of the poor, saith the Lord God/ 
Then he mentions the haughtiness of the daughters 
of Sion, and enumerates many ornaments as in 
stances of their vanity., to uphold which the poor 
were so hardly dealt with., that he sets forth their 
poverty, their leanness, and inability to help them 
selves, in the similitude of a man maimed by vio 
lence, or " beaten to pieces/ and forced to endure 
the painful operation of having his face gradually 
worn away in the manner of grinding. 

And I may here add that, at times, when I have 
felt true love open my heart towards my fellow- 
creatures, and been engaged in weighty conversation 
in the cause of righteousness, the instructions I have 
received under these exercises, in regard to the true 
use of the outward gifts of God, have made deep 
and lasting impressions on my mind. 

I have here beheld, how the desire to provide 
wealth, and to uphold a delicate life, hath griev 
ously entangled many, and been like snares to their 
offspring ; and though some have been affected with 
a sense of their difficulties, and appeared desirous, 
at times, to be helped out of them ; yet, for want of 
abiding under the humbling power of truth, they 
have continued in these entanglements ; for, in 
remaining conformable to this world, and giving 
way to a delicate life, this expensive way of living, 
in parents and in children, hath called for a large 
supply, and, in answering this call, " the faces of 
the poor" have been ground away, and made thin 
through hard dealing. 

There is balm ! there is a physician ! and O, what 


longings do I feel, that we may embrace the means 
appointed for our healing; know that removed 
which now ministers cause for the cries of many 
people to ascend to heaven against their oppressors ; 
and that we may see the true harmony restored ! 

Behold " how good and how pleasant it is for 
brethren to dwell together in unity." The nature 
of this unity is thus opened by the apostle ; " If we 
walk in the light,, as Christ is in the light,, we shall 
have fellowship one with another,, and the blood of 
Christ will cleanse us from all sin/ 

The land may be polluted with innocent blood, 
which, like the blood of Abel, may cry to the Al 
mighty ; but those who " walk in the light, as Christ 
is in the light/ they know the " Lamb of God, who 
taketh away sin." 

Walking is a phrase frequently used in Scripture, 
to represent our journey through life, and appears 
to comprehend the various affairs and transactions 
properly relating to our being in this world. 

Christ being the light, dwells always in the light; 
and, if our walking be thus, arid in every affair and 
concern we faithfully follow this divine Leader; he 
preserves from giving just cause for any to quarrel 
with us. Where this foundation is laid and mu 
tually kept to, by families conversant with each 
other, the way is open for these comforts in society, 
which our heavenly Father intends as a part of our 
happiness in this world ; and then we may experi 
ence the goodness and pleasa-itness of dwelling 
together in unity ; but where ways of living take 
place, which tend to oppression, and in the pursuit 


of wealth,, people do that to others which they know 
would not be acceptable to themselves, either in 
exercising an absolute power over them, or other-^ 
wise laying on them unequitable burdens ; here a 
fear lest that measure should be meted to them, 
which they have measured to others, incites a care 
to support that by craft and cunning devices which 
stands not on the firm foundation of righteousness : 
thus the harmony of society is broken, and from 
hence commotions and wars do frequently arise in 
the world. 

tf Come out of Babylon, my people, that ye 
be not partakers of her sins, arid that ye receive not 
of her plagues. Rev. xv. 3, 4. This Babel, or 
Babylon, was built in the spirit of self-exaltation : 
" Let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may 
reach to heaven, and let us make us a name/ 
Gen. xi. 4. In departing from an humble trust in 
God, and following a selfish spirit, people have in 
tentions to get the upper hand of their fellow- 
creatures, privately meditate on means to obtain 
their ends, and have a language in their hearts 
which is hard to understand. In Babel the language 
is confounded. 

This city is represented as a place of business,, 
and those employed in it as merchants of the earth : 
ff The merchants of the earth are waxed rich, 
through the abundance of her delicacies. * Rev. 
xviii. 3. 

And it is remarkable in this call, that the lan 
guage from the Father of Mercies, is, cf Come 
out of Babylon, my people !" Thus., his tender 


mercies are toward us in an imperfect state ; and, 
as we faithfully attend to the call, the path of 
righteousness is more and more opened ; cravings, 
which have not their foundation in pare wisdom, 
more and more cease; and in an inward purity of 
heart, we experience a restoration of that which 
was lost at Babel, represented by the inspired 
prophet in the (( returning of a pure language. 1 
Zeph. iii. 9. 

Happy for them who humbly attend to the call, 
fl Come out of Babylon, my people !" For though 
in going forth we may meet with trials, which for 
a time may be painful, yet, as we bow in true 
humility, and continue in it, an evidence is felt that 
God only is wise ; and that in weaning us from all 
that is selfish, He prepares the way to a quiet habi 
tation, where all our desires are bounded by his 
wisdom. And an exercise of spirit attends rne, that 
we who are convinced of the pure leadings of 
truth, may bow, in the deepest reverence, and so 
watchfully regard this Leader, that many, who are 
grievously entangled in a wilderness of vain cus 
toms, may look upon us and be instructed. And 
O that such who have plenty of this world s goods, 
may be faithful in that with which they are en 
trusted, and example others in the true Christian 
walking ! 

Our blessed Saviour, speaking on worldly great 
ness, compares himself to one waiting and attending 
on a company at dinner : fc Whether is greater, he 
that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth ? Is not lit? 


that sitteth at meat ? but I am amongst you as he 
that serveth." Luke xxii. 27. 

Thus, in a world greatly disordered, where men 
aspiring to outward greatness were wont to oppress 
others to support their designs, he who was of the 
highest descent, being the Son of God, and greater 
than any amongst the greatest families of men, by his 
example and doctrines, foreclosed his followers from 
claiming any show of outward greatness, from any 
supposed superiority in themselves or derived from 
their ancestors. 

He who was greater than earthly princes, was 
not only meek and low of heart ; but his outward 
appearance was plain and lowly, and free from 
every stain of the spirit of this world. 

Such was the example of our blessed Redeemer, 
of whom the beloved disciple said, " He that saith, 
he abideth in Him, ought also to walk, even as he 

John Bradford, who suffered martyrdom under 
queen Mary, wrote a letter to his friends out of 
prison, a short time before he was burnt, in which 
are these expressions J^t Consider your dignity as 
children of God and temples of the Holy Ghost, 
and members of Christ ; be ashamed therefore to 
think, speak, or do any thing unseemly, for God s 
children and the members of Christ. 5 * Fox s Acts 
and Monuments, p. 1177. 



On the Example of Christ. 

As my mind hath been brought into a brotherly 
feeling- with the poor, as to the things of this life, 
who are under trials, in regard to getting a living, 
in a way answerable to the purity of truth ; a labour 
of heart hath attended me, that their way may not be 
made difficult, through the love of money, in those 
who are tried with plentiful estates ; but that they 
with tenderness of heart may sympathize with 

It was the saying of our blessed Redeemer, " Ye 
cannot serve God and Mammon/ There is a deep 
feeling of the way of purity, a way in which the 
wisdom of the world hath no part, but is opened by 
the spirit of truth, and is ff called the way of holi 
ness/ a way in which the traveller is employed in 
watching unto prayer ; and the outward gain we 
get in this journey is considered as a trust committed 
to us, by HIM who formed and supports the world ; 
and is the rightful director of the use and applica 
tion of the product of it. 

Now, except the mind be preserved chaste, there 
is no safety for us ; but in an estrangement from 
true resignation, the spirit of the world casts up a 
way, in which gain is many times principally at 
tended to, and in which there is a selfish application 
of outward treasures. 


How agreeable to the true harmony of society, is 
that exhortation of the apostle; " Look not every 
man on his own things, but every man also on the 
things of others. Let this mind be in you which 
was also in Christ Jesus. ". 

A person in outward prosperity may have the 
power of obtaining riches,, but the same mind being 
in him which is in Christ Jesus, he may feel a ten 
derness of heart towards those of low degree ; and 
instead of setting himself above them, may look 
upon it as an unmerited favour, that his way through 
life is more easy than the way of many others ; 
may improve every opportunity of leading forlh 
out of those customs which have entangled the 
family ; employ his time in looking into the wants 
of the poor members, and hold forth such a perfect 
cxample v of humiliation, that the pure witness may 
be reached in many minds ; and the way opened 
for a harmonious walking together. 

Jesus Christ, in promoting the happiness of others, 
was not deficient in looking for the helpless, who 
lay in obscurity, nor did he save any thing to ren 
der himself honourable amongst men, which might 
have been of more use to the weak members in his 
Father s family; of whose compassion towards us I 
may now speak a little. He who was perfectly happy 
in himself, moved with infinite love, "took not upon 
him the nature of angels," but our imperfect nature, 
and therein wrestled with the temptations which 
attend us in this life ; and being the Son of HIM 
who is greater than earthly princes, yet became a 
companion to poor, sincere-hearted men ; and 


though he gave the clearest evidence that divine 
power attended him, yet the most unfavourable 
constructions were framed by a self-righteous peo 
ple ; those miracles represented as the effect of a 
diabolical power, and endeavours used to render 
him hateful, as having his mission from the prince 
of darkness ; nor did their envy cease till they took 
him like a criminal and brought him to trial. 
Though some may affect to carry the appearance of 
being unmoved at the apprehension of distress, our 
dear Redeemer., who was perfectly sincere, having 
the same human nature which we have, and feeling, 
a little before he was apprehended, the weight of 
that work upon him, for which he came into the 
world, was Cf sorrowful, even unto death." Here the 
human nature struggled to be excused from a cup 
so bitter; but his prayers centered in resignation, 
" Not my will, but thine be done/ In this conflict, 
so great was his agony, that " sweat like drops of 
blood fell from him to the ground." 

Behold now, as foretold by the prophet, he is in 
a judicial manner "numbered with the transgres 
sors." Behold him, as some poor man, of no repu 
tation, standing before the high priest and elders, 
and before Herod and Pilate, where witnesses ap 
pear against him, and he, mindful of the most gra 
cious design of his coming, declineth to plead in his 
own defence, f< but as a sheep that is dumb before 
his shearer," so, under many accusations, revilings, 
and buffetings, remained silent. And though he 
signified to Peter that he had access to power suffi 
cient to overthrow all their outward forces ; yet, 


retaining a resignation to suffer for the sins of man 
kind,, he exerted not that power, but permitted 
them to go on in their malicious designs,, and pro 
nounce him to be worthy of death, even him who 
was perfect in goodness; thus "in his humiliation 
his judgment was taken away/ and he, like some 
vile criminal, led as a lamb to the slaughter." Un 
der these heavy trials (though poor unstable Pilate 
was convinced of his innocence, yet) the people 
generally looked upon him as a deceiver, a blas 
phemer, and the approaching punishment as a just 
judgment upon him, " They esteemed him smitten 
of God, and afflicted." So great had been the sur 
prise of his disciples, at his being taken by armed 
men, that they " forsook him and fled ;" thus they 
hid their faces from him, he was despised, and by 
their conduct it appeared as though " they esteemed 
him not." 

But contrary to that opinion, of his being smitten 
of God and afflicted, it was for our sakes that "he 
was put to grief; he was wounded for our trans 
gressions ; he was bruised for our iniquities ;" and, 
under the weight of them, manifesting the deepest 
compassion for the instruments of his misery, la 
boured as their advocate, and in the deeps of afflict 
ion, with an unconquerable patience, cried out, 
" Father forgive them, they know not what they 

Now, this mind being in us, which was in Christ 
Jesus, it removes from our hearts the desire of su 
periority, worldly honour, or greatness ; a deep at 
tention is felt to the divine counsellor, and an ardent 


engagement to promote, as far as we may be ena 
bled, the happiness of mankind universally. This 
state, where every motion from a selfish spirit yield- 
eth to pure love, I may, with gratitude to the Fa 
ther of mercies, acknowledge, is often opened before 
me as a pearl to dig after*; attended with a living 
concern, that amongst the many nations and fami 
lies on the earth, those who believe in the Messiah, 
that c he was manifested to destroy the works of the 
Devil," and thus to " take away the sins of the 
world," may experience the will of our heavenly 
Father, fc may be done on earth as it is in heaven." 
Strong are the desires I often feel, that this holy 
profession may remain unpolluted, and the believers 
in Christ may so abide in the pure, inward, feeling 
of his spirit, that the wisdom from above may shine 
forth in their living, as a light by which others may 
be instrumentally helped on their way, in the true 
harmonious walking. 


On Merchandizing. 

WHERE the treasures of pure love are opened, 
and we obediently follow him who is the light of life, 
the mind becomes chaste ; and a care is felt, that 
the unction from the holy one may be our leader in 
every undertaking. 

In being crucified to the world, broken off from 


that friendship which is enmity with God, and dead 
to the customs and fashions which have not their 
foundation in the truth ; the way is prepared to 
lowliness in outward living , and to a disentangle^ 
ment from those snares which attend the love of 
money; and where the faithful friends of Christ are so 
situated that merchandize appears to be their duty, 
they feel a restraint from proceeding farther than 
he owns their proceeding ; being convinced that 
(C we are pot our own but are bought with a price, 
lhat none of us may live to ourselves, but to him 
who died for us." 2 Cor. v. 15. Thus they are 
taught, not only to keep to a moderate advance and 
uprightness in their dealings ; but to consider the 
tendency of their proceeding; to do nothing which 
they know would operate against the cause of uni 
versal righteousness; and to keep continually in 
view the spreading of the peaceable kingdom of 
Christ amongst mankind. 

The prophet Isaiah spake of the gathered church, 
in the similitude of a city, where many being em 
ployed were all preserved in purity ; " They shall 
call them the holy people ; the redeemed of the 
Lord, and thon shall be called sought out, a city not 
forsaken." Ixiii. 10. And the apostle, after men 
tioning the mystery of Christ s sufferings, exhorts, 
<e Be ye holy in all manner of conversation/ 1 Pet. 
i. 15. There is a conversation necessary in trade; 
and there ,is a conversation so foreign from the 
nature of Christ s kingdom, that it is represented in 
the similitude of one man pushing another with a 
warlike weapon ; (< There is that speaketh like the 


piercings of a sword/ Prov. xii. 18. Now in all 
our concerns it is necessary that the leading of the 
spirit of Christ be humbly waited for and faithfully 
followed, as the only means of being preserved 
chaste as an holy people,, who (< in all things are 
circumspect/ Exod. xxiii. 13., that nothing we do 
may carry the appearance of approbation of the 
works of wickedness,, make the unrighteous more at 
ease in unrighteousness, or occasion the injuries 
committed against the oppressed to be more lightly 
looked over. 

Where morality is kept to, and supported by the 
inhabitants of a country, there is a certain reproach 
attends those individuals amongst them, who mani 
festly deviate therefrom. Thus, if a person of 
good report, is charged with stealing goods out of 
an open shop in the day time,, and, on a public trial, 
found guilty, and the law in that case put in execu 
tion, he therein sustains a loss of reputation ; but 
if he be convicted a second and third time of the 
like offence, his good name would cease amongst 
such who knew these things. If his neighbour, re 
puted an honest man, be charged with buying goods 
of this thief, at a time when the purchaser knew 
they were stolen, and on a public trial be found 
guilty, this purchaser would meet with disesteem, 
but if he persisted in buying stolen goods, knowing 
them to be such, and was publicly convicted thereof 
a second and third time, he would no longer be 
considered as an honest man by those who knew 
these things ; nor would it appear of good report, 
to be found in his company, buying his traffic, till 



some evident tokens of sincere repentance appeared 
in him. But where iniquity is committed openly., 
and the authors of it are not brought to justice, nor 
put to shame,, their hands grow strong. Thus, the 
general corruption of the Jews, shortly before their 
state was broken up by the Chaldeans, is described 
by their boldness in impiety ; for as their leaders 
were connected together in wickedness, they 
strengthened one another, and grew confident, 
"Were they ashamed when they had committed 
abominations ? nay, they were not at all ashamed, 
neither could they blush;" Jer. vi. 15, on which 
account the Lord thus expostulates with them, 
fc What hath my beloved to do in my house, seeing 
she hath wrought lewdness with many ? and the holy 
flesh is passed from thee, when thou doest evil, then 
thou rejoicest." Jer. xi. 15. 

Now, the faithful friends of Christ, who hunger 
and thirst after righteousness, and inwardly breathe 
that his kingdom may come on earth as it is in 
heaven, he teacheth them to be quick of understand 
ing in his fear, and to be very attentive to the means 
he may appoint for promoting pure righteousness 
in the earth ; and, as shame is due to those whose 
works manifestly operate against the gracious de 
sign of his sufferings for us, a care lives on their 
minds that no wrong customs, however supported, 
may bias their judgments; but that they may hum 
bly abide under the cross and be preserved in a 
conduct which may not contribute to strengthen the 
hands of the wicked in their wickedness, or to re 
move shame from those to whom it is justly due. 


The coming of that day is precious in which we ex 
perience the truth of this expression, ff The Lord 
our righteousness ;" Jer. xiii. 6, and feel him to be 
"made. unto us wisdom and sanetifieation." 

The example of a righteous man is often looked 
at with attention. Where righteous men join in 
business., their company gives encouragement to 
others ; as one grain of incense deliberately of 
fered to the prince of this world,, renders an offering 
to God in that state unacceptable ; and from those 
esteemed leaders of the people may be injurious to 
the weak ; it requires deep humility of heart, to 
follow him faithfully, who alone gives sound wis 
dom and the spirit of true discerning ; and O how 
necessary it is, to consider the weight of a holy pro 
fession ! 

The conduct of some formerly, gave occasion of 
complaint against them, "Thou hast defiled thy 
sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by 
the iniquity of thy traffic ;" Ezek. xxviii. 18; and 
in several places it is charged against Israel that 
they had polluted the holy name. 

The prophet Isaiah represents inward sanctifica- 
tion in the similitude of being purged from that 
which is fuel for fire; and particularly describes 
the outward fruits, brought forth by those who dwell 
in this inward holiness ; " they walk righteously, 
and speak uprightly/ By walking, he represents 
the journey through life, as a righteous journey; 
and "by speaking uprightly/ seems to point at 
that which Moses appears to have had in view, 
when he thus expressed himself, " Thou shalt not 


follow a multitude to do evil, nor speak in a ease to 
decline after manyto wrest judgment/ Exod. xxiii.2. 
He goes on to show their firmness in equity ; re 
presenting them as persons superior to all the arts 
of getting money, which have riot righteousness for 
their foundation ; " They despise the gain of op 
pressions :" and further shows how careful they are 
that no prospects of gain may induce them to be 
come partial in judgment respecting an injury ; 
ff They shake their hands from holding bribes." 

Again, where any interest is so connected with 
shedding blood, that the cry of innocent blood goes 
also with it ; he points out their care to keep inno 
cent blood from crying against them, in the simili 
tude of a man stopping his ears to prevent a sound 
from entering his head, " They stop their ears from 
hearing blood ;" and where they know that wicked 
ness is committed, he points out with care, that 
they do not by an unguarded friendship with the 
authors of it, appear like unconcerned lookers on, 
but as people so deeply affected with sorrow, that 
they cannot endure to stand by and behold it ; this 
he represents in the similitude of a man ec shutting 
his eyes from seeing evil." 

" Who amongst us shall dwell with the devour 
ing fire? Who amongst us shall dwell with ever 
lasting burnings? He that walketh righteously 
and speaketh uprightly. He that despiseth the gain 
of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding 
of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of 
blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil." 
Isaiah xxxiii. 14, 15. 


He proceeds, in the spirit of prophecy, to show 
how the faithful, being supported under tempta 
tions, would be preserved from that defilement that 
there is in the love of money ; that, as they who in 
a reverent waiting on God, feel their strength re 
newed, are said to cc mount upward ;" so, here, their 
preservation from the snare of unrighteous gain is 
represented in the likeness of a man, borne up 
above all crafty, artful, means of getting the advan 
tage of another, "He shall dwell on high"; and 
points out the stability and firmness of their condi 
tion, " His place of defence shall be the munition 
of rocks ;" and that, under all the outward appear 
ances of Joss, in denying himself of gainful profits, 
for righteousness sake, yet through the care of Him 
who provides for the sparrows, he should have a 
supply answerable to his infinite wisdom, Cf Bread 
shall be given him, his waters shall be sure/* And, 
as our Saviour mentions the sight of God to be at 
tainable by Cf the pure in heart/ so here the pro 
phet pointed out, how, in true sanctification, the 
understanding is opened, to behold the peaceable, 
harmonious, nature of his kingdom, cc Thine eyes 
shall see the king in his beauty ;" and that looking 
beyond all the afflictions which attend the righte 
ous, to " a habitation eternal in the heavens," they 
with an eye divinely open shall behold the land 
that is very far off. 

"He shall dwell on high, his place of defence 
shall be the munitions of rocks, bread shall be 
given him, his waters shall be sure. Thine eyes 
shall see the king in his beauty; they shall be- 


hold the land that is very far off." Isaiah xxxiii. 
16, 17. 

I often remember, and to rne the subject is awful, 
that the great judge of all the earth doeth that 
which is right, and that He <( before whom the na 
tions are as the drop of a bucket/ is " no respecter 
of persons." Happy for them, who like the in 
spired prophet, fc in the way of his judgments, wait 
tor Him." Isaiah xxvi. 8. 

When we feel Him to sit as a refiner with fire, and 
know a resignedness wrought in us, to that which 
He appoints for us, his blessing in a very low estate, 
is found to be more precious than much outward 
treasure in those ways of life, where the leadings of 
his spirit are not followed. 

The prophet, in a sight of a divine work amongst 
many people, declared in the name of the Lord, 
" 1 will gather all nations and tongues, and they 
shall come and see my glory." Isaiah Ixvi. 18. 
And again, " from the rising of the sun to the going 
down of the same, my name shall be great amongst 
the Gentiles, and in every place incense shall be 
offered to my name, and a pure offering." Malachi 
i. 11. 

Behold here how the prophets had an inward 
sense of the spreading of the kingdom of Christ ; 
and how He was spoken of as one who should 
C( take the heathen for his inheritance, and the utter 
most parts of the earth for his possession." Psal. 
ii. 8. That " He was given for a light to the Gen 
tiles ; and for salvation to the ends of the earth," 
Isaiah xlix, 6, 


When we meditate on this divine work, as a work 
of ages : a work which the prophets felt long- before 
Christ appeared visibly on earth,, and remember the 
bitter agonies he endured when he <c poured out his 
soul unto death/ that the heathen nations as well 
as others, might come to the knowledge of the truth 
and be saved ; When we contemplate on this 
marvellous work,, as that which "the angels desire 
to look into/ 1 Pet. i. 12; and behold people 
amongst whom this light hath eminently broken 
forth, and who have received many favours from the 
bountiful hand of our heavenly Father ; not only 
indifferent with respect to publishing the glad ti 
dings amongst the Gentiles, as yet sitting in dark 
ness and entangled with many superstitions ; but 
aspiring after wealth and worldly honours, take hold 
of means to obtain their ends, tending to stir up 
wrath and indignation and to beget an abhorrence 
in them to the name of Christianity ; When these 
things are weightily attended to, how mournful is 
the subject! 

It is worthy of remembrance, that people in dif 
ferent ages, deeply baptized into the nature of that 
work for which Christ suffered, have joyfully offered 
up their liberty and lives for the promoting of it in 
the earth. 

Polycarp, who was reputed a disciple of the apos 
tle John, having attained to great age, was at length 
sentenced to die for his religion ; and being brought 
to the tire, prayed nearly as follows, " Thou God 
and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom I 
have received the knowledge of thee! O God of 


the angels and powers., and of every living creature,, 
and of all sorts of just men which live in thy pre 
sence ; I thank thee that thou hast graciously 
vouchsafed this day and this hour to allot me a 
portion among the number of martyrs, among the 
people of Christ,, unto the resurrection of everlast 
ing life ; among whom I shall be received in thy 
sight, this day, as a fruitful and acceptable sacrifice; 
wherefore for all this, I praise thee, I bless thee, 
I glorify thee, through the everlasting High-priest, 
Jesus Christ, thy well beloved son ; to whom, with 
thee and the Holy Ghost, be all glory, world with 
out end. Amen/ 

Bishop Latimer, when sentence of death by fire, 
was pronounced against him, on account of his 
firmness in the cause of religion, said, t( I thank 
God most heartily ! that he hath prolonged my life 
to this end ; that I may, in this case, glorify him by 
this kind of death/ Fox s Acts and Mori. 936. 

William Dewsbury, who had suffered much for 
his religion, in his last sickness, encouraging his 
friends to faithfulness, made mention, like good old 
Jacob, of the loving kindness of God to him in the 
course of his life, and that through the power of 
divine love, he, for Christ s sake, had joy fully entered 
prisons, See introduction to his works. 

I mention these, as a few examples, out of many, 
of the powerful operation of the spirit of Christ, 
where people are fully devoted to it, and of the 
ardent longings in their minds for the spreading of 
his kingdom amongst mankind. Now to those in 
the present age, who truly know Christ, and feel 


the nature of his peaceable government, opened in 
their understandings, how loud is that call where 
with we are called to faithfulness; that in follow 
ing this pure light of life, " we as workers together 
with him/ may labour in that great work for which 
he was offered as a sacrifice on the cross ; and that 
his peaceable doctrines may shine through us in 
their real harmony, at a time when the name of 
Christianity is become hateful to many of the 

When Gehazi had obtained treasures, which the 
prophet, under divine direction, had refused, and 
was returned from the business ; the prophet trou 
bled at his conduct, queried if it was a time thus to 
prepare for a specious living. " Is it a time to 
receive money and garments, men servants and 
maid servants? the leprosy therefore of Naaman 
shall cleave to thee and to thy seed for ever." 2 
Kings v. 26. And O that we may lay to heart the 
condition of the present time ; and humbly follow 
his counsel, who alone is able to prepare the way 
for a true harmonious walking amongst mankind ! 



On Divine Admonitions. 

SUCH are the perfections of our heavenly Father, 
that in all the dispensations of his providence, it is our 
duty, f{ in every thing, to give thanks/ 5 Though from 
the first settlement of this part of America, he hath 
not extended his judgments to the degree of famine, 
yet worms at times have come forth beyond number 
ing, and laid waste fields of grain and grass, where 
they have appeared; another kind, in great multi 
tudes, working out of sight, in grass ground, have so 
eaten the roots, that the surface being loosened from 
the soil beneath, might be taken off in great sheets. 

These kinds of devouring creatures appearing 
seldom, and coming in such multitudes, their gene 
ration appears different from most other reptiles, 
and by the prophet were called (f God s army sent 
amongst the people." Joel ii. 25. 

There have been tempests of hail, which have 
very much destroyed the grain where they ex 
tended. Through long drought in summer, grain 
in some places hath been less than half the usual 
quantity ;* and in the continuance thereof, I have 
beheld with attention, from week to week, how 
dry ness from the top of the earth hath extended 
deeper and deeper, while the corn and plants have 

* When crops fail, I often feel a tender care that the case of 
poor tenants may be mercifully considered. 


languished ; and, with reverence, rny mind hath 
been turned toward HIM,, who being perfect in 
goodness, in wisdom, and power, doeth all things 
right. And after long drought, when the sky hath 
grown dark with a collection of matter, and clouds 
like lakes of water hung over our heads, from 
whence the thirsty land hath been soaked ; I have 
at times, with awfulness, beheld the vehement 
operation of lightning, made sometimes to accom 
pany these blessings, as a messenger from HIM who 
created all things, to remind us of our duty in a 
right use of those benefits, and give striking ad 
monitions, that we do riot misapply those gifts, in 
which an Almighty power is exerted, in bestowing 
them upon us. 

When I have considered that many of our fellow- 
creatures suffer much in some places, for want of 
the necessaries of life, whilst those who rule over 
them are too much given to luxury, and divers 
vanities ; and behold the apparent deviation from 
pure wisdom amongst us, in the use of the outward 
gifts of God ; those marks of famine have appeared 
like humbling admonitions from Him, that we might 
be instructed by gentle chastisements, and might 
seriously consider our ways ; remembering that the 
outward supply of life is a gift from our heavenly 
Father, and that we should no more venture to 
use, or apply his gifts, in a way contrary to pure 

Should we continue to reject those merciful ad 
monitions, and use his gifts at home, contrary to 
the gracious design of the giver, or send them abroad 

in a way of trade, which the spirit of truth doth not 
lead into ; and should He, whose eyes are upon 
all our ways., extend his chastisements so far as to 
reduce us to much greater distress than hath yet 
been felt by these provinces., with what sorrow of 
heart might we meditate on that subject, " Hast 
thou not procured this unto thyself, in that thou 
hast forsaken the Lord thy God, when He led thee 
by the way ? Thine own wickedness shall correct 
thee,, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee ; know 
therefore and see,, that it is an evil thing and bitter, 
that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that 
my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord God of hosts." 
Jer. ii. 1719. 

My mind hath often been affected with sorrow, 
in beholding a wrong application of the gifts of our 
heavenly Father; and those expressions concerning 
the defilement of the earth have been opened to my 
understanding, " The earth was corrupt before God, 
and the earth was filled with violence/ 1 1 . 
Again, " The earth also is defiled under the inha 
bitants thereof, because they have broken the 
everlasting covenant." Isaiah xxiv. 5. 

The earth being the work of a divine power, 
may not, as such, be accounted unclean ; but when 
violence is committed thereon, and the channel of 
righteousness so obstructed, that " in our skirts are 
found the blood of the souls of poor innocents ; 
not by a secret search, but upon all these." 
Jerem. ii. 34.* When blood, shed unrighteously, 

* See a caution and warning to Great Britain and her colonies, 
page 31. 


remains unatoned for, and the inhabitants are not 
effectually purged from it, when they do not wash 
their hands in innocency, as was figured in the law, 
in the case of one being found slain ; but seek for 
gain arising from scenes of violence and oppression, 
here the land is polluted with blood. Deut. 
xxi. 6. 

Moreover, when the earth is planted and tilled, 
and the fruits brought forth are applied to support 
unrighteous purposes ; here the gracious design of 
infinite goodness, in these his gifts, being perverted, 
the earth is defiled ; and the complaint formerly 
uttered becomes applicable : <f Thou hast made me 
to serve with thy sins ; thou hast wearied me with 
thine iniquities/ Isaiah xliii. 24. 




[First printed in London, 1773.] 


On loving our neighbours as ourselves. 

WHEN we love the Lord with all our hearts, and 
his creatures in his love,, we are then preserved in 
tenderness both toward mankind and the animal 
creation ; but if another spirit gets room in our 
minds, and we follow it in our proceedings, we are 
then in the way of disordering the affairs of society. 
People may have no intention to oppress, yet by 
entering on expensive ways of life, their minds may 
be so entangled therein, and so engaged to support 
expensive customs, as to be estranged from the pure, 
sympathizing spirit. 

As I have travelled in England, I have had a 
tender feeling of the condition of poor people, some 
of whom, though honest and industrious, have 
nothing to spare toward paying for the schooling of 
their children. 

There is a proportion between labour and the 
necessaries of life, and in true brotherly love the 
mind is open to feel after the necessities of the poor. 


Amongst the poor there are some that are weak 
through age,, and others of a weakly nature, who 
pass through straits in very private life, without 
asking relief from the public. 

Such who are strong and healthy may do that 
business,, which to the weakly may be oppressive ; 
and in performing that in a day which is esteemed 
a day s labour, by weakly persons in the field and 
in the shops, and by weakly women who spin and 
knit in the manufactories, they often pass through 
weariness; arid many sighs I believe are uttered 
in secret, unheard by some who might ease their 

Labour, in the right medium, is healthy ; but in 
too much of it there is a painful weariness : and 
the hardships of the poor are sometimes increased 
through want of more agreeable nourishment, more 
plentiful fuel for the fire, and warmer clothing in 
the winter, than their wages will answer. 

When I have beheld plenty in some houses/ to a 
degree of luxury; the condition of poor children, 
brought up without learning ; and the condition of 
the weakly and aged, who strive to live by their 
labour ; have often revived in my mind, as cases of 
which some who live in fuluess need to be put in 

There are few, if any, could behold their fellow- 
creatures lie long in distress, and forbear to help 
them, when they could do it without any inconve 
nience; but customs requiring much labour to sup 
port them, do often lie heavy on the poor, while 
they who live in these customs are so entangled in 


a multitude of unnecessary concerns, that they 
think but little of the hardships which the poor 
people go through. 

If a man, successful in business, expends part of 
his income in things of no real use, while the poor 
employed by him pass through great difficulties in 
getting the necessaries of life, this requires his 
serious attention. 

If several principal men in business unite in set 
ting the wages of those who work for hire, and 
therein have regard to a profit to themselves answer 
able to unnecessary expense in their families, while 
the wages of the others on a moderate industry will 
not afford a comfortable living for their families, 
and a proper education for their children ; this is 
like laying a temptation in the way of some to strive 
for a place higher than they are in, when they have 
not stock sufficient for it. 

Now I feel a concern in the spring of pure love, 
that all who have plenty of outward substance, may 
example others in the right use of things ; may 
carefully look into the condition of poor people, 
aud beware of exacting on them with regard to 
their wages. 

While hired labourers, by moderate industry, 
through the divine blessing, may live comfortably, 
raise up families, and give them suitable education, 
it appears reasonable for them to be content with 
their wages. 

If they who have plenty, love their fellow- 
creatures in that love which is divine, and in all 
their proceedings have an equal regard to the good 


of mankind universally, their place in society is a 
place of care,, an office requiring attention; and the 
more we possess, the greater is our trust, and with 
an increase of treasure, an increase of care becomes 

When our will is subject to the will of God ; 
and in relation to the things of this world, we have 
nothing in view but a comfortable living equally 
with the rest of our fellow-creatures, then outward 
treasures are no farther desirable than as we feel a 
gift in our minds equal to the trust, and strength 
to act as dutiful children in his service, who hath 
formed all mankind, and appointed a subsistence 
for us in this world. 

A desire of treasures on any other motive, appears 
to be against that command of our blessed Saviour, 
cf Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth.* 
Matt. vi. 19. 

He forbids not laying up in the summer against 
the wants of winter ; nor doth He teach us to be 
slothful in that which properly relates to our being 
in this world ; but in this prohibition He puts in 
yourselves: (C Lay not up for yourselves treasures 
here on earth." 

Now, in the pure light, this language is under 
stood, for in the love of Christ there is no respect 
of persons ; and while we abide in his love, we live 
not to ourselves, but to Him who died for us. 
And as we are thus united in spirit to Christ, we 
are engaged to labour in promoting that work in 
the earth for which He suffered. 

In this state of mind our desires are, that every 



honest member in society may have a portion of 
treasure, and share of trust, answerable to that gift, 
with which our heavenly Father hath gifted us. 

In great treasure, there is a great trust. 

A great trust requireth great care. 

But the laborious mind wants rest. 

A pious man is content to do a share of business 
in society, answerable to the gifts with which he is 
endowed, while the channels of business are free 
from unrighteousness, but is careful lest at any time 
his heart be overcharged. 

In the harmonious spirit of society, "Christ is all 
in all." Col. iii. 11. 

Here it is that te old things are past away, all 
things are new, all things are of God." 2 Cor. 
v. 17, 18. and the desire for outward riches is at an 

They of low degree, who have small gifts, enjoy 
their help who have large gifts ; those with their 
small gifts, have a small degree of care., while these 
with their large gifts, have a large degree of care : 
and thus to abide in the love of Christ, and enjoy a 
comfortable living in this world, is all that is aimed 
at by those members in society, to whom Christ is 
made wisdom and righteousness. 

But when they who have much treasure, are not 
faithful stewards of the gifts of God, great difficul 
ties attend it. 

Now this matter hath deeply affected my mind. 
The Lord, through merciful chastisements, hath 
given me a feeling of that love, in which the har 
mony of society standeth, and a sight of the growth 


of that seed which bringbth forth wars and great ca 
lamities in the world ; and a labour attends me to 
open it to others. 

Now to act with, integrity, according to that 
strength of mind and body with which our Creator 
hath endowed each of us, appears necessary for all; 
and he who thus stands in the lowest station, ap 
pears to be entitled to as comfortable and conveni 
ent a living, as he whose gifts of mind are greater, 
and whose cares are more extensive. 

If some endowed with strong understandings as 
men, abide not in the harmonious state, in which 
we " love our neighbours as ourselves/ but walk in 
that spirit in which the children of this world are 
wise in their generation ; these by the strength of 
contrivance may sometimes gather great treasure, 
but the wisdom of this world is foolishness with 
God ; and if we gather treasures in worldly wis 
dom, we lay up "treasures for ourselves;" and 
great treasures managed in any other spirit than 
the spirit of truth, disorder the affairs of society ; 
for hereby the good gifts of God in this outward 
creation are turned into the channels of worldly 
honour, and frequently applied to support luxury, 
while the wages of poor labourers are such, that 
with moderate industry and frugality they may not 
live comfortably, raise up families, and give them 
suitable education, but through the straitness of 
their condition, are often drawn on to labour under 
weariness, to toil through hardships themselves, 
and frequently to oppress those useful animals with 
which w r e are entrusted. 


Prom age to age, throughout all ages, divine love 
is that alone, in which dominion has been, is, and 
will be rightly conducted. 

In this, the endowments of men are so employed, 
that the friend and the governor are united in one, 
and oppressive customs come to an end. 

Riches in the hands of individuals in society, are 
attended with some degree of power ; and so far as 
power is put forth separate from pure love, so far 
the government of the Prince of peace is interrupt 
ed ; and as we know not that our children after us 
will dwell in that state in which power is rightly 
applied, to lay up riches for them appears to be 
against the nature of his government. 

The earth, through the labour of men under the 
blessing of Him who formed it, yieldeth a supply for 
the inhabitants from generation to generation, and 
they who walk in the pure light, their minds are pre 
pared to taste and relish not only those blessings 
which are spiritual, but also feel a sweetness and 
satisfaction in a right use of the good gifts of God 
in the visible creation. 

Here we see that man s happiness stands not in 
great possessions, but in a heart devoted to follow 
Christ, in that use of things, where customs con 
trary to universal love have no power over us. 

In this state, our hearts are prepared to trust in 
God, and our desires for our children and posterity 
are, that they, with the rest of mankind, in ages to 
come, may be of that number, of whom He hath 
said, " I will be a father to them, and they shall be 
my sons and daughters. " 2 Cor. vi. IS. 


When wages in a fruitful land bear so small a 
proportion to the necessaries of life, that poor ho 
nest people who have families,, cannot, by a mode 
rate industry,, attain to a comfortable living , and give 
their children sufficient learning, but must either 
labour to a degree of oppression, or else omit that 
which appears to be a duty: .While this is the case 
with the poor,, there is an inclination in the minds 
of most people, to prepare, at least so much trea 
sure for their children, that they with care and 
moderate industry may live free from these hard 
ships which the poor pass through. 

Now this subject requireth our serious consider 
ation. To labour that our children may be put in a 
way to live comfortably, appears in itself to be a 
duty, so long as these our labours are consistent 
with universal righteousness; but if, in striving to 
shun poverty, we do not walk in that state where 
"Christ is our life/ then we wander: "He that 
hath the Son, hath life." 1 John v. 12. "This life 
is the light of men/ John i. 4. If we walk not 
in this light, we walk in darkness, and "he that 
walketh in darkness, knoweth not whither he 
goeth." John xii. 35. 

To keep to right means in labouring to attain a 
right end is necessary. If, in striving to shun 
poverty, we strive only in that state, where Christ is 
the light of our life, our labours will stand in the 
true harmony of society ; but, if people are confident 
that the end aimed at is good, and in this confi 
dence, pursue it so eagerly, as not to Wait for the 


Spirit of truth to lead them, then they come to 
loss. Christ is given to be a leader and com 
mander of the people. Isaiah Iv. 4. Again,, 
"The Lord shall guide thee continually/ Isaiah 
Iviii. lfi.ll Again; " Lord thou wilt ordain peace for 
us, for thou also hast wrought all our works in us." 
Isaiah xxvi. 12. <f In the Lordjhave we righteous 
ness and strength." Isaiah xlv. 24. 

In this state, our minds are preserved watchful, 
in following the leadings of his spirit in all our pro 
ceedings in this world, and a care is felt for a refor 
mation in general ; that our own posterity, with 
the rest of mankind, in succeeding ages, may not be 
entangled by oppressive customs, transmitted to 
them through our hands. But if people, in the nar 
rowness of natural love, are afraid that their chil 
dren will be oppressed by the rich ; and, through 
an eager desire to get treasures, depart from the 
pure leadings of truth in one case, though it may 
seem to be a small matter, yet the mind, even in 
that small matter, may be emboldened to continue 
in a way of proceeding, without waiting for the 
divine Leader. 

Thus people may grow expert in business, wise 
in the wisdom of this world, retain a fair reputation 
amongst men, and yet, being strangers to the voice 
of Christ, the safe leader of his flock, the treasures 
thus gotten, may be like snares to the feet of their 

Now, to keep faithful to the pure counsellor, 
and, under trying circumstances, suffer adversity 
for righteousness sake, in this there is a reward. 


If we, being poor, are hardly dealt with by those 
who are rich., and under this difficulty,, are frugal 
and industrious, and in true humility open our 
case to them who oppress us, this may reach the 
pure witness in their minds ; and though we should 
remain under difficulties as to the outward,, yet if 
we abide in the love of Christ, all will work for our 

When we feel what it is to suffer in the true suf 
fering state, then we experience the truth of those 
expressions, that (c as the sufferings of Christ abound 
in us, so our consolation aboundeth by Christ/ 2 
Cor. i. 5. 

But if poor people who are hardly dealt with, do 
not attain to the true suffering state, do not labour 
in true love with those who deal hardly with them, 
but envy their outward greatness, murmur in their 
hearts because of their own poverty, and strive iri 
the wisdom of this world to get riches for themselves 
and their children ; this is like wandering in the 

IV we, who are of a middle station between riches 
and poverty, are affected at times with the oppres 
sions of the poor, and feel a tender regard for our 
posterity after us ; O how necessary is it that we 
wait for the pure counsel of truth ! 

Many have seen the hardships of the poor, and 
feel an eager desire that their children may be put 
in a way to escape these hardships ; but how few 
have continued in that pure love which openeth our 
under stand ings to proceed rightly under these diffi 
culties ! 


How few have faithfully followed that holy 
Leader who prepares his people to labour for the 
restoration of true harmony amongst our fellow- 
creatures ! 

In the pure gospel spirit, ff we walk by faith and 
not by sight/ 2 Cor. v. 7. 

In the obedience of faith we die to the narrow 
ness of self-love,, and our life being hid with Christ 
in God, our hearts are enlarged toward mankind 
Universally; but in departing from the true light 
of life, many in striving to get treasures have sturri- 
bled upon the dark mountains. 

Now that purity of life which proceeds from 
faithfulness in following the spirit of truth, that state 
where our minds are devoted to serve God, and all 
our wants are bounded by his wisdorn ; this habita 
tion has often been opened before me, as a place of 
retirement for t|ie children of the light, where we 
may stand separated from that which disor^ereth 
and confuse th (he affairs of society,, and where we 
may have a testimony of our innocence in the hearts 
of those who behold us. 

Through departing from the truth as it is in Jesus, 
through introducing ways of life attended with un 
necessary expenses, many wants have arisen, the 
minds of people have been employed in studying to 
get wealth, and in this pursuit some departing from 
equity, have retained a profession of religion ; others 
Jiave looked at their example, and thereby been 
strengthened to proceed further in the same way : 
thus many have encouraged the trade of taking 
men from Africa, and selling them as slaves. 


It hath been computed that near one hundred 
thousand negroes have, of late years,, been taken 
annually from that coast, by ships employed in the 
English trade. 

As I have travelled on religious visits in some 
parts of America, I have seen many of these people 
under the command of overseers, in a painful servi 

I have beheld them as Gentiles, under people 
professing Christianity ; not only kept ignorant of 
the Holy Scriptures, but under great provocations 
to wrath ; of whom it may truly be said, cc They 
that rule over them make them to howl/ Isaiah lii. 
5. and the Holy Name is abundantly blasphemed. 
Where children are taught to read the sacred 
writings, while young, and exampled in meek 
ness and humility, it is often helpful to them, nor is 
this any more than a debt due from us to a succeed 
ing age. 

But, where youth are pinched for want of the 
necessaries of life, forced to labour hard under the 
harsh rebukes of rigorous overseers, and many 
times endure unmerciful whippings : in such an 
education, how great are the disadvantages they 
He under! And how forcibly do these things work 
against the increase of the government of the Prince 
of peace ! 

Humphrey Smith, in his works, p. 125, speaking 
of the tender feelings of the love of God in his 
heart when he was a child, said, " By the violent 
wrathful nature that ruled in others, was my quiet* 


ness disturbed, and anger begotten in me toward 
them, yet that of God in me was not wholly over 
come, but his love was felt in my heart, and great 
was my grief when the earthly-rnindedness and 
wrathful nature so provoked me, that I was estrang 
ed from it. 

" And this I write as a warning to parents and 
others, that, in the fear of the living God, you may 
train up the youth, and may riot be a means of 
bringing them into such alienation." 

Many are the vanities and luxuries of the present 
age, and in labouring to support a way of living 
conformable to the present world, the departure 
from that wisdom that is pure and peaceable, hath 
been great. 

Under the sense of a deep revolt, and an over 
flowing stream of unrighteousness, my life has been 
often a life of mourning, and tender desires are 
raised in me;, that the nature of this practice may 
be laid to heart. 

I have read some books written by people who 
were acquainted with the manner of getting slaves 
in Africa. 

I have had verbal relations of this nature from se 
veral negroes brought from Africa, who have learned 
to talk English. 

I have sundry times heard Englishmen speak on 
this subject, who have been in Africa on this busi 
ness ; and from all these accounts it appears evident 
that great violence is committed, and much blood 
shed in Africa in getting slaves. 


When three or four hundred slaves are put in the 
hold of a vessel in a hot climate, their breathing 1 
soon affects the air. Were that number of free 
people to go passengers with all things proper for 
their voyage,, there would inconvenience arise from 
their number ; but slaves are taken by violence, and 
frequently endeavour to kill the white people, that 
they may return to their native land. Hence they 
are frequently kept under such a sort of confinement, 
by means of which a scent ariseth in the hold of a 
ship, and distempers often break out amongst them, 
of which many die. Of this tainted air in the hold 
of ships freighted with slaves, 1 have had several 
accounts, some in print, and some verbal, and all 
agree that the scent is grievous. When these peo 
ple are sold in America, and in the islands, they are 
made to labour in a manner more servile and con 
stant, than that which they were used to at home ; 
thus, with grief, with different diet from what has 
been common with them, and with hard labour, some 
thousands are computed to die every year, in what 
is called the seasoning. 

Thus it appears evident, that great numbers of 
these people are brought every year to an untimely 
end ; many of them being such as never injured 

Where the innocent suffer under hard-hearted 
men, even unto death, and the channels of equity 
are so obstructed, that the cause of the sufferers is 
not judged in righteousness, "the land is polluted 
with blood." Numb. xxxv. 33. 


Where blood hath been shed unrighteously., and 
remains unatoned for, the cry thereof is very 

Under the humbling dispensations of divine Pro 
vidence, this cry hath deeply affected my heart, and 
I feel a concern to open, as I may be enabled,, that 
which lieth heavy on my mind. 

When fc the iniquity of the house of Israel and of 
Judah was exceeding great., when the land was 
defiled with blood, and the city full of perverse- 

Ezek. ix. 9. " Some were found sighing and 
crying for the abominations of the times/ Ezek. 
ix. 4. and such as live under a right feeling of 
our condition as a nation, these, I trust, will be 
sensible that the Lord at this day doth call to 
mourning, though many are ignorant of it. So 
powerful are bad customs when they become gene 
ral, that people growing bold through the examples 
one of another, have often been unmoved at the 
most serious warnings. 

Through abiding in the love of Christ, we feel a 
tenderness in our hearts towards our fellow-crea 
tures, entangled in oppressive customs ; and a con 
cern so to walk, that our conduct may not be a 
means of strengthening them in error. 

It was the command of the Lord, through Moses, 
ff Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart : 
thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and 
not suffer sin upon him." Lev. xix. 17. 

Again ; (t Keep thee far from a false matter ; and 


the innocent and righteous slay thou not." Exou 1 . 

xxiii. 7. 

The prophet Isaiah mentions oppression as that 
\vhich the true church, in time of outward quiet, 
should not only be clear of, but should be far from 
it, ff Thou shalt be far from oppression/ Isaiah 
liv. 14. Now these words, far from, appear to have 
an extensive meaning, and to convey instruction in 
regard to that of which Solomon speaks, "Though 
hand join in hand, Ihe wicked shall not go unpu 
nished/ Prov. xvi. 5. 

It was a complaint against one of old, " When 
thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with 
him." Psal. 1. 18. 

The prophet Jeremiah represents the degrees of 
preparation toward idolatrous sacrifice, in the simi 
litude of a work carried on by children, men and 
women. " The children gather wood, and the fathers 
kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough 
to make cakes to the queen of heaven/* Jer. 
vii. 18. 

It was a complaint of the Lord against Israel, 
through his prophet Ezekiel, that " they strength 
ened the hands of the wicked, and made the heart 
of the righteous sad." Ezek. xiii. 22. 

Some works of iniquity carried on by the people 
were represented by the prophet Hosea, in the 
similitude of ploughing, reaping, and eating the 
fruit : " Ye have ploughed wickedness, reaped 
iniquity, eaten the fruit of lies, because thou didst 
trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty 
men." Hosea x. 13. 


Our blessed Saviour, speaking of the people of 
the old world, said, C( They did eat, they drank, 
they married wives, they were given in marriage, 
until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and 
the flood came and destroyed them all." Luke 
xvii. 27. 

The like he spake concerning the people of 
Sodom, who are also represented by the prophet as 
haughty, luxurious, and oppressive : ({ This was 
the iniquity of Sodorn : pride, fulness of bread, and 
abundance of idleness was in her, and in her daugh 
ters; neither did she strengthen the hand of the 
poor and needy/ Ezek. xvi. 49. 

Now, in a revolt so deep as this, when much 
blood has been shed unrighteously in carrying on 
the slave-trade, and in supporting the practice of 
keeping slaves, which at this day is unatoned for, 
and crieth from the earth and from the seas against 
the oppressor ! 

While this practice is continued, and under a 
great load of guilt, there is more unrighteousness 
committed, the state of things is very moving ! 

There is a love which stands in nature, and a 
parent beholding his child in misery, hath a feeling 
of the affliction ; but in divine love, the heart is 
enlarged towards mankind universally, and pre 
pared to sympathize with strangers, though in the 
lowest stations in life. 

Of this the prophet appears to have had a feel 
ing, when he said, " Have we not all one Father? 
Hath not one God created us ? Why do we deal 
treacherously every man against his brother, by 


profaning the covenant of our fathers?" Mai. ii. 

He who of old heard the groans of the children 
of Israel., under the hard task-masters in Egypt, I 
trust, hath looked down from his holy habitation 
on the miseries of these deeply oppressed people. 
Many lives have been shortened through extreme 
oppression, while they laboured to support luxury 
and worldly greatness ; and though many people 
in outward prosperity may think little of these 
things, yet the gracious Creator hath regard to the 
cries of the innocent, however unnoticed by men. 

The Lord, in the riches of his goodness, is lead 
ing some into the feeling of the condition of this 
people, who cannot rest without labouring as their 
advocates ; of which, in some measure, I have had 
experience, for, in the movings of his love in my 
heart, these poor sufferers have been brought near 
to me. 

The unoffending, aged, and infirm, made to labour 
too hard, kept on a diet less comfortable than their 
weak state required, and exposed to great diffi 
culties under hard-hearted men, to whose sufferings 
I have often been a witness, and under the heart- 
melting power of divine love, their misery hath felt 
to me like the misery of my parents. 

Innocent youth, taken by violence from their 
native land, from their friends and acquaintance ; 
put on board ships with hearts laden with sorrow; 
exposed to great hardships at sea ; placed under 
people, where their lives have been attended with 
great provocation to anger and revenge. 


With the condition of these youth rny mind hath 
often been affected, as with the afflictions of my 
children ; and,, in a feeling- of the misery of these 
people, and of that great offence which is ministered 
to them, my tears have been often poured out 
before the Lord. 

That holy Spirit which affected my heart when I 
was a youth, I trust, is often felt by the negroes 
in their native land, inclining their minds to that, 
which is righteous ; and had the professed follow 
ers of Christ, in all their conduct toward them, 
manifested a disposition answerable to the pure 
principle in their hearts, how might the holy 
Name have been honoured amongst the Gentiles, 
and how might we have rejoiced in the fulfilling 
of that prophecy, fc I the Lord love judgment, I 
hate robbery for burnt-offering, and I will direct 
their work in truth, and make an everlasting cove 
nant with them. Their seed shall be known among 
the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: 
all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they 
are the seed which the Lord hath blessed." Isaiah 
Ixi. 8, 9. 

But, in the present state of things, how contrary 
is this practice to that meek spirit, in which our 
Saviour laid down his life for us, that all the ends 
of the earth might know salvation in his name! 

How are the sufferings of our blessed Redeemer 
set at nought, and his name blasphemed amongst 
the Gentiles, through the unrighteous proceedings 
of his professed followers ! 

My mind hath often been affected, even from the 


days of my youth,, under a sense of that marvellous 
work,, for which God, in infinite goodness, sent his 
Son into the world. 

The opening of that spring of living waters, 
which the true believers in Christ experience, by 
which they are redeemed from pride and covetous- 
ness, and brought into a state of meekness, where 
their hearts are enlarged in true love toward their 
fellow-creatures universally ; this work to me has 
been precious, and the spreading of the knowledge 
of the truth amongst the Gentiles been very desira- 
able. And the professed followers of Christ joining 
in customs evidently unrighteous, which manifestly 
tend to stir up wrath, and increase wars and desola 
tions, hath often covered my mind with sorrow. 

If we bring this matter home, and, as Job pro 
posed to his friends, ec Put our soul in their souls 
stead ;" Job xvi. 4, If we consider ourselves and 
our children as exposed to the hardships which 
these people lie under, in supporting an imaginary 
greatness ; did we in such case behold an increase 
of luxury and superfluity amongst our oppressors, 
and therewith felt an increase of the weight of our 
burdens, and expected our posterity to groan under 
oppression after us : under all this misery, had we 
none ta plead our cause, nor any hope of relief from 
man, how would our cries ascend to the God of 
the spirits of all flesh, who judgeth the world in 
righteousness, and, in his own time, is a refuge f<M* 
the oppressed ? 

If they who thus afflicted us, continued to la]j^ 


claim to religion, and were assisted in their business 
by others, esteemed pious people, who, through a 
friendship with them, strengthened their hands in 

In such a state, when we are hunger-bitten, and 
could not have sufficient nourishment, but saw them 
in fulness pleasing their taste with things fetched 
from afar : 

When we were wearied with labour, denied the 
liberty to rest, and saw them spending their time at 
ease : when garments answerable to our necessi 
ties were denied us, while we saw them clothed in 
that which was costly and delicate : 

Under such affliction, how would these painful 
feelings rise up as witnesses against their pretended 
devotion ? And if the name of their religion was 
mentioned in our hearing, how would it sound in 
our ears like a word which signified self-exaltation, 
and hardness of heart? 

When a trade is carried on, productive of much 
misery, and they who suffer by it, are some thou 
sand miles off, the danger is the greater, of not 
laying their sufferings to heart. 

In procuring slaves on the coast of Africa, many 
children are stolen privately ; wars also are encou 
raged amongst the negroes, but ail is at a great 

Many groans arise from dying men which we 
hear not. 

Many cries are uttered by widows and fatherless 
children, which reach not our ears. 


Many cheeks are wet with tears, and faces sad 
with unutterable grief, which we .see not. 

Cruel tyranny is encouraged. The hands of 
robbers are strengthened, and thousands reduced 
to the most abject slavery, who never injured us. 

Were we, for the term of one year only, to be 
eye-witnesses to what passeth in getting these 
slaves : 

Were the blood that is there shed, to be sprinkled 
on our garments : 

Were the poor captives, bound with thongs, 
heavy laden with elephants teeth, to pass before 
our eyes on their way to the sea : 

Were their bitter lamentations, day after day, to 
ring in our ears, and their mournful cries in the 
night to hinder us from sleeping : 

Were we to hear the sound of the tumult, when 
the slaves on board the ships attempt to kill the 
English, and behold the issue of those bloody con 
flicts : 

What pious man could be a witness to these 
things, and see a trade carried on in this manner, 
without being deeply affected with sorrow ? 


L. v . . " . . - \ 


On Trading in Superfluities. 

I HAVE felt great distress of mind since I came on 
this island, on account of the members of our so 
ciety being mixed with the world in various sorts of 
business and traffic, carried on in impure channels. 
Great is the trade to Africa for slaves; and in load 
ing these ships abundance of people are employed 
in the manufactories. 

Friends, in early time, refused, on a religious 
principle, to make or trade in superfluities, of which 
we have many large testimonies on record ; but, for 
want of faithfulness, some gave way, even some 
whose examples were of note in society ; and from 
thence, others took more liberty. Members of our 
society worked in superfluities, and bought and sold 
them, and thus dimness of sight came over many. 
At length, friends got into the use of some super 
fluities in dress, and in the furniture of their houses, 
and this hath spread from less to more, till super 
fluity of some kinds is common amongst us. 

In this declining state, many look at the example 
one of another, and too much neglect the pure 
feeling of truth, Of late years, a deep exercise 
hath attended my mind, that friends may dig deep, 
may carefully cast forth the loose matter, and get 
down to the rock, the sure foundation, and there 
hearken to that divine voice which gives a clear and 
certain sound. 


And I have felt, in that which doth not deceive, 
that if friends who have known the truth, keep in 
that tenderness of heart, where all views of outward 
gain are given up, and their trust is only on the 
Lord, He will graciously lead some to be patterns 
of deep self-denial, in things relating to trade, and 
handicraft labour : arid that some, who have plenty 
of the treasures of this world, will example in a 
plain frugal life, and pay wages to such whom they 
may hire, more liberally than is now customary in 
some places. 

The prophet, speaking of the true church, said, 
fc Thy people also shall be all righteous." 

Of the depth of this divine work, several have 
spoken : 

John Gratton, in his journal, p. 45, said, " The 
Lord is my portion, I shall not want. He hath 
wrought all my works in rne. I am nothing, but 
what I am in Him." 

Gilbert Latey, through the powerful operations 
of the spirit of Christ in his soul, was brought to 
that depth of self-denial, that he could not join with 
that proud spirit in other people, which inclined 
them to want vanities and superfluities. This 
friend was often amongst the chief rulers of the 
nation in times of persecution, and it appears by 
the testimony of friends, that his dwelling was so 
evidently in the pure life of truth, that, in his visits 
to those great men, he found a place in their minds; 
and, that king James the Second, in the times of 
his troubles, made particular mention, in a very 
respectful manner, of what Gilbert once said to him. 


The said Gilbert found a concern to write an 
epistle, in which are these expressions : " Fear the 
Lord., ye men of all sorts, trades, and callings, and 
leave off all the evil that is in them, for the Lord is 
grieved with all the evils used in your employments 
which you are exercised in." 

" It is even a grief to see how you are servants 
to sin, and instruments of Satan." See his works, 
p. 42, &c. 

George Fox, in an epistle, writes thus : Friends, 
stand in the eternal power of God, witnesses against 
the pomps and vanities of this world/ 

" Such tradesmen who stand as witnesses in the 
power of God, cannot fulfil the people s minds in 
these vanities, and therefore they are offended at 

* Let all trust in the Lord, and wait patiently on 
Him ; for when truth first broke forth in London, 
many tradesmen could not take so much money in 
their shops, for some time, as would buy them 
bread and water, because they withstood the world s 
ways, fashions, and customs ; yet, by their patient 
waiting on the Lord in their good life and conver 
sation, they answered the truth in people s hearts, 
and thus their business increased." Book of Doc - 
trinals, P- 824. 

Now Christ, our holy Leader, graciously con- 
tinueth to open the understandings of his people ; 
and, as circumstances alter from age to age,, some 
who are deeply baptized into a feeling of the state 
of things, are led by his Holy Spirit, into exercises 
in sbine respect different from those which attended 


the faithful in foregoing ages, and, through the 
constrainings of pure love, are engaged to open the 
feelings they have to others. 

In faithfully following Christ, the heart is weaned 
from the desire of riches, and we are led into a 
life so plain and simple, that a little doth suffice ; 
and thus the way openeth to deny ourselves, under 
all the tempting allurements of that gain, which we 
know is the gain of unrighteousness. 

The apostle, speaking on this subject, asketh 
this question : " What fellowship hath righteous 
ness with unrighteousness?" 2 Cor. vi. 14. And 
again saith, (f Have no fellowship with the unfruit 
ful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." 
Ephes. v. 1 1 . Again, " Be not partaker of other 
men s sins, keep thyself pure." 1 Tim. v. 22. 

Where people, through the power of Christ, are 
thoroughly settled in a right use of things, freed 
from all unnecessary care and expense, the mind, 
in this true resignation, is at liberty from the bands 
of a narrow self-interest, to attend, from time to 
time, on the movings of his Spirit upon us, though 
he leads into that, through which our faith is 
closely tried. 

The language of Christ is pure, and to the pure 
in heart, this pure language is intelligible ; but, in 
the love of money, the mind being intent on gain, 
is too full of human contrivance to attend to it. 

It appeareth evident, that some channels of trade 
are defiled with unrighteousness ; that the minds 
of many are intent on getting treasures to sup- 


port a life, in which there are many unnecessary 

And I feel a living concern attend my mind, that 
under these difficulties we may humbly follow our 
heavenly Shepherd,, who graciously regardeth his 
flock, and is willing and able to supply us both in 
wardly and outwardly with clean provender, that 
hath been winnowed with the shovel and the fan, 
where we may, " Sow to ourselves in righteous 
ness, reap in mercy ;" Hosea x. 12.; and not be 
defiled with the works of iniquity. 

Where customs, contrary to pure wisdom, are 
transmitted to posterity, it appears to be an injury 
committed against them ; and I often feel tender 
compassion toward a young generation, arid desires, 
that their difficulties may not be increased through 
unfaithfulness in us of the present age. 

While friends were kept truly humble, and walked 
according to the purity of our principles, the divine 
witness in many hearts was reached ; but, when a 
worldly spirit got entrance, therewith came in lux 
uries and superfluities, and spread by little and 
little, even amongst the foremost rank in society, 
and from thence others took liberty in that way 
more abundantly. 

In the continuation of these things from parents 
to children there were many wants to supply, even 
wants unknown to friends, while they faithfully fol 
lowed Christ. And, in striving to supply those 
wants, many have exacted on the poor, many have 
entered on employments, in which they often L bo ur 


in upholding pride and vanity. Many have looked 
on one another, being strengthened in these things, 
one by the example of another ; and as to the pure 
divine seeing, dimness hath come over many, and 
the channels of true brotherly love been obstructed. 


On a Sailor s Life. 

IN the trade to Africa for slaves, and in the ma 
nagement of ships going on these voyages, many of 
our lads and young men have a considerable part of 
their education* 

Now, what pious father, beholding his son placed 
in one of these ships, to learn the practice of a ma 
riner, could forbear mourning over him ? 

Where youth are exampled in means of getting 
money, so full of violence, and used to exercise such 
cruelties on their fellow-creatures, the disadvantage 
to them, in their education, is very great. 

But., I feel it in my mind to write concerning the 
seafaring life in general. 

In the trade carried on from the West Indies, and 
from some parts of the continent, the produce of the 
labour of slaves is a considerable part. 

And sailors who are frequently at ports where 
slaves abound, and converse often with people who 
oppress them without the appearance of remorse, 
and often with sailors employed in the slave trade/ 


how powerfully do these evil examples spread 
amongst the seafaring youth ! 

I have had many opportunities to feel and under 
stand the general state of the seafaring life amongst 
us, and my mind hath often been sad on account of 
so many lads and young men being trained up 
amidst so great corruption. 

Under the humbling power of Christ, I have seen, 
that if the leadings of his holy spirit were faithfully 
attended to, by his professed followers in general, 
the heathen nations would be exampled in righteous 
ness. A less number of people would be employed 
on the seas. The channels of trade would be more 
free from defilement. Fewer people would be em 
ployed in vanities and superfluities. 

The inhabitants of cities would be less in num 

They who have much land would become fathers 
to the poor. 

More people would be employed in the sweet em 
ployment of husbandry, and in the path of pure 
wisdom, labour would be an agreeable, healthful 

In the opening of these things in my mind, I feel 
a living concern that we, who have felt divine love 
in our hearts, may faithfully abide in it, and, like 
good soldiers, endure hardness for Christ s sake. 

He, our blessed Saviour, exhorting his followers 
to love one another, adds, "As I have loved you." 
John xiii. 34. 

He loved Lazarus, yet in his sickness did not heal 
him, but left him to endure the pains of death, that, 


in restoring him to life, the people might be con 
firmed in the true faith. 

He loved his disciples, but sent them forth on a 
message attended with great difficulty,, amongst 
hard-hearted people, some of whom would think 
that in killing them they did God service. 

So deep is divine love, that in stedfastly abiding 
in it, we are prepared to deny ourselves of all that 
gain which is contrary to pure wisdom, and to fol 
low Christ, even under contempt, and through suf 


On Silent Worship. 

WORSHIP, in silence, hath often been refreshing 
to my mind, and a care attends me that a young 
generation may feel the nature of this worship. 

Great expense ariseth in relation to that which is 
called divine worship. 

A considerable part of this expense is applied to 
ward outward greatness, and many poor people in 
raising of jithe, labour in supporting customs con 
trary to the simplicity that is in Christ, toward whom 
my rnind hath often been moved with pity. 

In pure, silent worship, we dwell under the holy 
anointing, and feel Christ to be our shepherd. 

Here the best of teachers ministers to the several 
conditions of his flock, and the soul receives, irrime- 


diately from the divine fountain, that with which it 
is nourished. 

As I have travelled at times where those of other 
societies have attended our meetings, and have per 
ceived how little some of them knew of the nature 
of silent worship ; I have felt tender desires in rny 
heart that we, who often sit silent in our meetings,, 
may live answerable to the nature of an inward fel 
lowship with God, that no stumbling-block, through 
us, may be laid in their way. 

Such is the load of unnecessary expense which 
lieth on that which is called divine service in many 
places, and so much are the minds of many people 
employed in outward forms and ceremonies, that 
the opening of an inward, silent, worship in this 
nation, to me, hath appeared to be a precious 

Within the last four hundred years, many pious 
people have been deeply exercised in soul on ac 
count of the superstition which prevailed amongst 
the professed followers of Christ, and in support of 
their testimony against oppressive idolatry, some, 
in several ages, have finished .their course in the 

It appears by the history of the reformation, that, 
through the faithfulness of the martyrs, the under 
standings of many have been opened, and the minds 
of people, from age to age, been more and more 
prepared for a real spiritual worship . 

My mind is often affected with a sense of the 
condition of those people, who, in different ages, have 
been meek and patient, following Christ through 


great afflictions : and while I behold the several 
steps of reformation, and that clearness, to which, 
throu gh divine goodness, it hath been brought by 
our ancestors ; I feel tender desires that we, who 
sometimes meet in silence, may never by our con 
duct lay stumbling-blocks in the way of others, 
and hinder the progress of the reformation in the 

It was a complaint against some who were called 
the Lord s people, that they brought polluted bread 
to his altar, and said the table of the Lord was 

In real silent worship, the soul feeds on that 
which is divine ; but we cannot partake of the ta 
ble of the Lord, and that table which is prepared by 
the god of this world. 

If Christ is our shepherd, and feedeth us, and we 
are faithful in following Him, our lives will have an 
inviting language, and the table of the Lord will 
not be polluted. 





Beloved Friends, 

FEELING at this time a renewed concern, that the 
pure principle of light and life, and the righteous 
fruits thereof, may spread and prevail amongst man 
kind, there is an engagement on my heart to labour 
with my brethren in religious profession, that none 
of us may be a stumbling-block in the way of 
others ; but may so walk, that our conduct may 
reach the pure witness in the hearts of such who 
are not in the profession with us. 

And, dear friends, while we publicly own that the 
Holy Spirit is our leader, the profession is in itself 
weighty, and the weightiness thereof increaseth, in 
proportion as we are noted among the professors of 
truth ; and active in dealing with such who walk 

Many, under our profession, for want of due atten 
tion, and a perfect resignation to this Divine Teach- 


er, have, in some things manifested a deviation from 
the purity of our religious principles, and these de 
viations having crept in amongst us, by little and 
little, and increasing from less to greater, have been 
so far unnoticed, that some living in them, have 
been active in putting discipline in practice, with 
relation to others, whose conduct hath appeared 
more dishonourable in the world. 

Now, as my mind hath been exercised before the 
Lord, I have seen, that the discipline of the church 
of Christ standeth in that which is pure ; that, it is 
the wisdom from above which gives authority to 
discipline ; and, that the weigh tiness thereof stand 
eth not in any outward circumstances, but in the 
authority of Christ who is the author of it ; and 
where any walk after the flesh, and not according 
to the purity of truth, and at the same time are 
active in putting discipline in practice, a veil is gra 
dually drawn over the purity of discipline, and over 
that holiness of life, which Christ leads those into, 
ff in whom the love of God is verily perfected/ 
1 John ii. 5 

When we labour, in true love, with offenders, and 
they remain obstinate, it sometimes is necessary to 
proceed as far as our Lord directed, " Let him be 
to thee as an heathen man, or a publican." Matt, 
xviii. 17. 

Now, when such are disowned, and they who act 
therein feel Christ made unto them wisdom, and are 
preserved in his meek, restoring, spirit; there is no 
just cause of offence ministered to any ; but when 
such, who are active in dealing with offenders in- 


dulge themselves in things which are contrary to 
the purity of truth, and yet judge others whose 
conduct appears more dishonourable than theirs, 
here the pure authority of discipline ceaseth, as to 
such offenders, and a temptation is laid in their way 
to wrangle and contend. fc Judge not/ said our 
Lord, C( that ye be not judged." Now this forbid 
ding, alludes to man s judgment, and points out the 
necessity of our humblyattending to that sanctifying 
power, under which the faithful experience the Lord 
to be "a spirit of judgment to them/* Isaiah xxviii. 
6. And, as we feel his Holy Spirit to mortify the 
deeds of the body in us, and can say, cc it is no more 
I that live, but Christ that liveth in me/ here right 
judgment is known. 

And, while divine love prevails in our hearts, 
and self in us is brought under judgment, a prepa 
ration is felt to labour in a right manner with of 
fenders ; but if we abide not in this love, our out 
ward performance, in dealing with others, degene 
rates into formality ; for " this is the love of God, 
that we keep his commandments." I John i. 3. 

How weighty are those instructions of our Re 
deemer, concerning religious duties, when he points 
out, that they who pray, should be so obedient to 
the teachings of the Holy Spirit, that humbly con 
fiding in his help, they may say, cc Thy name, O 
Father be hallowed ! Thy kingdom come ; thy will 
be done on earth, as it is in heaven." In (his aw 
ful state of mind is felt that worship which stands 
in doing the will of God, on earth, as it is done in 
heaven, and keeping the holy ^Name sacred. To 


take a holy profession upon us is awful, nor can we 
keep this holy Name sacred, but by humbly abiding 
under the cross of Christ. The apostle made a heavy 
complaint against some who profaned this holy 
Name by their manner of living ; cf through you/ 
he says, " the name of God is blasphemed amongst 
the Gentiles/ Rom. ii. 24. 

Some of our ancestors through many tribulations, 
were gathered into the state of true worshippers, 
and had fellowship in that which is pure ; and, as 
one was inwardly moved to kneel down in their as 
semblies, and publicly call on the name of the Lord, 
those, in the harmony of united exercise then pre 
sent, joined in the prayer ; I mention this, in order 
that we of the present age, may look unto the Rock 
from whence we were hewn, and remember, that to 
unite in worship, is a union in prayer, and that 
prayer, acceptable to the Father, is only in a mind 
truly sanctified, where the sacred name is kept holy, 
find the heart resigned, to do his will on earth, as it 
is done in heaven. " If ye abide in me/ saith Christ, 
<<r and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye 
will in my name, and it shall be done unto you," 
Now, we know not what to pray for as we ought, 
but as the Holy Spirit doth open and direct our 
minds, and as we faithfully yield to its influences, 
our prayers are in the will of our heavenly Father, 
who fails not to grant that which his own spirit, 
through his children, asketh ; thus, preservation 
from sin is known, and the fruits of righteousness 
are brought forth by such as inwardly unite in 



How weighty are our solemn meetings when the 
name of Christ is kept holy ! 

<c How precious is that state in which the children 
of the Lord are so redeemed from the love of this 
world,, that they are accepted and blessed in all that 
they do." R. Barclay s Apology, p. 404. 

How necessary is it that we who profess these 
principles, and are outwardly active in supporting 
them, should faithfully abide in divine strength, that 
as He who hath called us is holy, so we may be 
holy in all manner of conversation. I Pet. i. 15. 

If one, professing to be influenced by the spirit of 
Christ, proposeth to unite in a labour to promote 
righteousness in the earth, and, in time past, he 
hath manifestly deviated from the path of equity, 
then to act consistently with this principle, his first 
work is to make restitution so far as he may be 
enabled ; for if he attempts to contribute toward a 
work, intended to promote righteousness, while t it 
appears that he neglecteth, or refuseth to act righh- 
eously himself, his conduct has a tendency to en 
tangle the minds of those who are weak in the 
faith, who behold these things, and to draw a veil 
over the purity of righteousness, by carrying an 
appearance,, as though that was righteousness^which 
is not. 

Again, if I propose to assist in supporting those 
doctrines wherein that purity of life is held forth, in 
which customs, proceeding from the spirit of this 
world, have no place ; and at the same time, strength 
en others in those customs, by my example ; the 
first step then, in an orderly proceeding, is to cease 


from those customs myself, and afterwards to labour, 
as I may be enabled, to promote the like disposi 
tion and conduct in others. 

To be convinced of the pure principle of truth, 
and diligently exercised in walking answerable 
thereto, is necessary, before I can consistently re 
commend this principle to others. I often feel a 
labour in spirit, that we who are active members in 
religious society may experience, in ourselves, the 
truth of those expressions of the Holy One " I will 
be sanctified in them that come nigh me." Lev. x. 
3. In this case, my mind hath been often exercised 
when alone, year after year, for many years, and in 
the renewings of divine love, a tender care hath 
been incited in me, that we who profess the inward 
principle of light to be our teacher, may be a family 
united in that purity of worship, which compre 
hends a holy life, and ministers instruction to others. 

My mind is often drawn towards children in 
the truth, who having a small share of the things 
of this life, and coming to have families, may be 
inwardly exercised before the Lord to support them, 
in a way agreeable to the purity of truth, in which 
they may feel his blessing upon them in their la 
bours ; the thoughts of such being entangled with 
customs, contrary to pure wisdom, conveyed to 
them through our hands, doth often very tenderly 
and movingly affect my heart, and, when I look to 
wards and think on the succeeding generation, fer 
vent desires are raised in me, that we, by yielding 
to that Holy Spirit which leads into all truth, may 
not do the work of the Lord deceitfully, may not 


live contrary to the purity of the divine principle 
we profess; but that, as faithful labourers in our 
age, we may be instrumental in removing stum 
bling blocks out of the way of those who may suc 
ceed us. 

So great was the love of Christ, that he gave 
himself for the church, that he might sanctify and 
cleanse it, that it should be holy, and without 
blemish, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such 
thing/ Eph. v. 25. And, where any take the 
name of Christ upon them, professing to be mem 
bers of his church, and led by his Holy Spirit, and 
yet manifestly deviate from the purity of truth, they 
herein act against the gracious design of his giving 
himself for them, and minister cause for the conti 
nuance of his afflictions, viz. in his body, the church. 

Christ suffered afflictions in a body of flesh pre 
pared by the Father, but the afflictions of his mys 
tical body are yet unfinished ; for they who are 
baptized into Christ are baptized into his death. 
And, as we humbly abide under his sanctifying power, 
and are brought forth into newness of life, we feel 
Christ to live in us, who being the same yesterday, 
to-day, and for ever, and always at unity with him 
self, his spirit, in the hearts of his people, leads to 
an inward exercise for the salvation of mankind : 
and when, under a travail of spirit, we behold a 
visited people, entangled by the spirit of this world 
with its wickedness and customs, and thereby ren 
dered incapable of being faithful examples to others, 
sorrow and heaviness, under a sense of these things, 
is often experienced ; and thus, in some measure, 


is filled up that which remains of the afflictions of 

Our blessed Saviour, speaking 1 concerning gifts 
offered in divine service,, says, f{ If thou bring thy 
gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy 
brother hath ought against thee, leave there thy gift 
before the altar, and go thy way, first be reconciled 
to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift." 
Matt. v. 23, 24. Now, there is no true unity, but 
in that wherein the Father and the Son are united ; 
nor can there be a perfect reconciliation but in 
ceasing from that which ministers cause for the con 
tinuation of the afflictions of Christ ; and if any, 
professing to bring their gift to the altar, do remem 
ber the customary contradiction which some of their 
fruits bear to the pure, spiritual, worship, here it ap 
pears necessary to lay to heart this command, <e leave 
thy gift before the altar/ 

Christ graciously calls his people brethren ; ^who 
soever shall do the will of God, the same is my 
brother/ Mark iii. *$5. Now, if we walk contrary 
to the truth as it is in Jesus, while we continue to 
profess it, we offend against Christ ; and if, under 
this offence, we bring our gift, to the altar, our Re 
deemer doth not direct us to take back our gift, he 
doth not discourage our proceeding in a good work ; 
but graciously points out the necessary means by 
which the gift may be rendered acceptable, " leave," 
saith he, " thy gift before the altar and go thy way, 
first be reconciled to thy brother :" cease from that 
which grieves the Holy Spirit, cease from that which 


is against the truth, as it is in Jesus, and then come, 
and offer thy gift. 

I feel, while I am writing, a tenderness to those 
who, through divine favour, are preserved in a 
lively sense of the state of the churches, and, at 
times, may be under discouragements with regard 
to proceeding in that pure way which Christ by his 
Holy Spirit leads into. The depth of disorder and 
weakness, which so much prevails, being opened, 
doublings are apt to arise, as to the possibility of 
proceeding as an assembly of the Lord s people, in 
the pure counsel of truth ; and here I feel a con 
cern to express, in uprightness, that which hath 
been opened in my mind, under the power of the 
cross of Christ, relating to a visible gathered 
church, the members whereof are guided by the 
Holy Spirit, 

The Church is called the body of Christ, Col. 
i. g* 

Christ is called the head of the church, Eph. 
i. 22. 

The church is called the pillar and ground of the 
truth, 1 Tim. iii. 15. 

Thus, the church hath a name that is sacred, and 
the necessity of keeping this name holy, appears 
evident ; for where a number of people unite in a 
profession of being led by the spirit of Christ, and 
publish their principles to the world, the acts and 
proceedings of that people may, in some measure, 
be considered as such which Christ is the author of. 

Now, while we stand in this station, if the pure 
light of life is not followed and regarded in our pro- 


ceedings, we are in the way of profaning the holy 
Name, arid of going back toward that wilder 
ness of sufferings and persecution,, out of which, 
through the tender mercies of God, a church hath 
been gathered. Christ liveth in sanctified vessels, 
Gal. ii. 20. and where they behold his holy Name 
profaned, and the pure gospel light eclipsed, 
through the unfaithfulness of any who, by their sta 
tion, appear to be standard-bearers, under the 
Prince of Peace, the living members in the body of 
Christ, in beholding these things, do, in some de 
gree, experience the fellowship of his sufferings; 
and, as the wisdom of the world more and more 
takes place in conducting the affairs of this visible 
gathered church, and the pure leadings of the Holy 
Spirit are less waited for and followed, so, the true 
suffering seed is more and more oppressed. 

My mind is often affected with a sense of the 
condition of sincere-hearted people in some king 
doms where liberty of conscience is not allowed, 
many of whom being burthened in their minds with 
prevailing superstition, joined with oppressions, 
are often under sorrow ; and where such have 
attended to that pure light which hath in some 
degree opened their understandings, and, for their 
faithfulness thereto, have been brought to examina 
tion and trial, how heavy are the persecutions 
which, in di\ 7 ers parts of the world are exercised 
upon them ! How mighty, as to the outward, is 
that power, by which they are borne down and 
oppressed ! 

How deeply affecting is the condition of many 


upright-hearted people who are taken into the 
papal inquisition ! What lamentable cruelties, in 
deep vaults, in a private way, are exercised pn 
many of them ! and how lingering is that death, by 
a small slow fire, which they have frequently eu~ 
dured, who have been faithful to the end ! 

How many tender-spirited Protestants have been 
sentenced to spend the remainder of their lives in a 
galley chained to oars, under hard-hearted masters, 
while their young children are placed out for edu 
cation, and taught principles so contrary to the 
consciences of the parents, that, by dissenting from 
them, they have hazarded their liberty, lives, and 
all that was dear to them of the things of this 
world ! 

There have been, in time past, severe persecu 
tions, under the English government, and many 
sincere-hearted people have suffered death for the 
testimony of a good conscience, whose faithfulness, 
in their day, hath ministered encouragements to 
others, and been a blessing to many who have suc 
ceeded them. Thus, from age to age, the darkness 
being more and more removed, a channel, at length, 
through the tender mercies of God, hath been 
opened for the exercise of the pure gift of the gos 
pel ministry, without interruption from outward 
power, a work, the like of which is rare, and un 
known in many parts of the world. 

As these things are often fresh in my mind, and 
this great work of God, going on in the earth, has 
been open before me, that liberty of conscience with 
which we are favoured, hath appeared not as a 
light matter. 


A trust is committed to us, a great and weighty 
trust, to which our diligent attention is necessary. 
Wherever the active members of this visible gathered 
church use themselves to that which is contrary to 
the purity of our principles, it appears to be a 
breach of this tcust, and one step back toward the 
wilderness, one step towards undoing what God, in 
infinite love,, hath done, through his faithful ser 
vants, in a work of several ages, and is like laying 
the foundation for future sufferings. 

I feel a living invitation in my mind to such who 
are active in our religious society, that we may lay 
to heart this matter, and consider the station in 
which we stand ; a place of outward liberty, under 
the free exercise of our conscience, towards God, 
not obtained, but through great and manifold afflic 
tions of those who lived before us. There is grati 
tude due from us to our heavenly Father, and 
justice to our posterity. Can our hearts endure, or 
our hands be strong, if we desert a cause so pre 
cious, if we turn aside from a work, under which so 
many have patiently laboured ? 

May the deep sufferings of our Saviour be so 
dear to us, that we may never trample under foot 
the adorable Son of God, nor count the blood of 
the covenant unholy ! 

May the faithfulness of the martyrs, when the 
prospect of death by fire was before them, be re 
membered ! and may the patient constant sufferings 
of the upright-hearted servants of God, in later 
ages, be revived in our minds ! and may we so 
follow on to know the Lord, that neither the faithful 


in this age, nor those in ages to come, may ever be 
brought under suffering, through our sliding baek 
from the work of reformation in the world ! 

While the active members in the visible gathered 
church stand upright, and the affairs thereof are 
carried on, under the leadings of the Holy Spirit, 
although disorders may arise among us, and cause 
many exercises to those who feel the care of the 
churches upon them ; yet, while these continue 
under the weight of the work, and labour, in the 
meekness of wisdom, for the help of others, the 
name of Christ, in the visible gathered church, may 
be kept sacred ; but, while they who are active in 
the affairs of this church continue in a manifest 
opposition to the purity of our principles, this, as 
the prophet Isaiah, x. 18, expresseth it, is like " as 
when a standard-bearer fainteth :" and thus the 
way opens to great and prevailing degeneracy, and 
to sufferings for such, who, through the power of 
divine love, are separated to the gospel of Christ, 
and cannot unite with any thing which stands in 
opposition to the purity of it. 

The necessity of an inward stillness hath, under 
these exercises, appeared clear to my mind. In true 
silence strength is renewed, the mind herein is 
weaned from all things, but as they may be enjoyed 
in the divine will ; and a lowliness in outward living, 
opposite to worldly honour, becomes truly accept 
able to us. In the desire after outward gain, the 
mind is prevented from a perfect attention to the 
voice of Christ ; but, being weaned from all things, 
but as they may be enjoyed in the divine will, the 


pure light shines into the soul : and, where the 
fruits of that spirit which is of this world, are 
brought forth by many who profess to be led by 
the spirit of truth, and cloudiness is felt to be ga 
thering over the visible gathered church,, the sincere 
in heart, who abide in true stillness, and are exer 
cised therein before the Lord for his name s sake, 
have knowledge of Christ in the fellowship of his 
sufferings; and inward thankfulness is felt, at times, 
that through divine love, our own wisdom is cast 
out, and that forward active part in us subjected, 
which would rise and do something in the visible 
gathered church, without the pure leadings of the 
Spirit of Christ. 

While aught remain in us different from a per 
fect resignation of our wills, it is like a seal to a 
book, wherein is written " that good and accept 
able and perfect will of God" concerning us. Rom. 
xii. 2. But, when our minds entirely yield to 
Christ, that silence is known, which followeth the 
opening of the last of the seals, Rev. viii. 1. In this 
silence, we learn abiding in the divine will, and 
there feel, that we have no cause to promote but 
that only in which the light of life directs us in our 
proceedings ; and that the alone way to be useful 
in the church of Christ, is to abide faithfully under 
the leadings of his Holy Spirit, in all cases, and, 
being preserved thereby in purity of heart and holi 
ness of conversation, a testimony to the purity of 
his government may be held forth through us, to 

As my mind hath been thus exercised, I have 


seen, that to be active and busy in the visible ga 
thered church, without the leadings of the Holy 
Spirit, is not only unprofitable, but tends to increase 
dimness ; and, where way is not opened to proceed 
in the light of truth, a stop is felt by those who 
humby attend to the Divine Leader, a stop which, 
in relation to good order in the visible gathered 
church, is of the greatest consequence to be ob 
served ; thus, Robert Barclay, in his treatise on 
discipline, holds forth (page 65, 68, 84.; : " That 
the judgment or conclusion of the church or con 
gregation is no further effectual, as to the true end 
and design thereof, but as such judgment or con 
clusion proceeds from the Spirit of God, operating 
on their minds who are sanctified in Christ Jesus." 

Now, in this stop, I have learned the necessity of 
waiting on the Lord in humility, that the works of 
all may be brought to light, arid those to judgment 
which are wrought in the wisdom of this world ; 
and have also seen, that, in a mind thoroughly sub 
jected to the power of the cross, there is a savour of 
life to be felt, which evidently tends to gather souls 
to God, while the greatest works in the visible 
gathered church, brought forth in man s wisdom, 
remain to be unprofitable. 

Where people are divinely gathered into a holy 
fellowship, and faithfully abide under the influence 
of that Spirit which leads into all truth, " they are 
the light of the world." Matt. v. 14. Now, holding 
this profession, to rne hath appeared weighty, even 
beyond what I can fully express, and what our 
blessed Lord seemed to have in view, when he pro- 


posed the necessity of counting the cost before we 
begin to build. 

I trust there are many who, at times, under divine 
visitation,, feel an inward inquiry after God ; and, 
when such, in the simplicity of their hearts, mark 
the lives of a people who profess to walk by the 
leadings of his Spirit, of what great concernment is 
it that our lights shine clear, that nothing of our 
conduct carry a contradiction to the truth as it is in 
Jesus, or be a means of profaning his holy Name, 
and be a stumbling block in the way of those sin 
cere inquirers. 

When such seekers, who, wearied with empty 
forms, look towards uniting with us as a people, and 
behold active members among us depart, in their 
customary way of living, from that purity of life, 
which, under humbling exercises, hath been opened 
before them, as the way of the Lord s people, how 
mournful and discouraging is the prospect! and how 
strongly doth such unfaithfulness operate against 
the spreading of the peaceable, harmonious princi 
ple and testimony of truth amongst mankind ! 

In entering into that life which is hid with Christ 
in God, we behold his peaceable government, where 
the whole family are governed by the same spirit^ 
and the fc doing to others as we would they should 
do unto us/ groweth up, as good fruit from a good 
tree. The peace, quietness, and harmonious walk 
ing in this government is beheld with humble 
reverence to him who is the author of it ; and in 
partaking of the Spirit of Christ, we partake of that 
which labours and suffers for the increase of this 
peaceable government, among the inhabitants of the 


world. And I have felt a labour of long continu 
ance, that we who profess this peaceable principle, 
may be faithful standard-bearers,, under the Prince 
of Peace ; and that nothing of a defiling nature., 
tending to discord and wars, may remain among us. 

May each of us query with ourselves,, have the 
treasures I possess, been gathered in that wisdom 
which is from above, so far as hath appeared to me? 

Have none of my fellow-creatures an equitable 
right to any part which is called mine ? 

Have the gifts and possessions received by me 
from others, been conveyed in a way free from all 
unrighteousness, so far as I have seen ? 

The principle of peace, in which our trust is only 
on the Lord, and our minds weaned from a depend 
ence on the strength of armies, hath appeared to 
me very precious ; and I often feel strong desires, 
that we who profess this principle, may so walk, as 
to give just cause for none of our fellow-creatures 
to be offended at us ; that our lives may evidently 
manifest, that we are redeemed from that spirit in 
which wars are. Our blessed Saviour, in pointing 
out the dander of so leaning on man as to neglect 
the leadings of his Holy Spirit, said, Cf Call no man 
your father upon the earth ; for one is your Father 
which is in heaven/ Matt, xxiii. 9. Where the wis 
dom from above is faithfully followed, and therein we 
are intrusted with substance, it is a treasure com 
mitted to our care, in the nature of an inheritance, 
as an inheritance from Him who formed and sup 
ports the world. Now, in this condition, the true 
enjoyment of the good things of this life is under 
stood, and that blessing felt, in which is real safety. 


This is what I apprehend our blessed Lord had in 
view,, when he pronounced, f{ Blessed are the meek, 
for they shall inherit the earth." 

Selfish worldly-minded men may hold lands in the 
selfish spirit; and, depending on the strength of the 
outward power, be perplexed with secret uneasi 
ness, lest the injured should sometime overpower 
them, and that measure be meted to them which they 
measure to others. Thus, selfish men may possess 
the earth ; but it is the meek who inherit it, and 
enjoy it, as an inheritance from the heavenly Father, 
free from all the defilements and perplexities of 

Where proceedings have been in that wisdom 
which is from beneath, and inequitable gain ga 
thered by a man, and left as a gift to his children, 
who, being entangled by the same worldly spirit, 
have not attained to that clearness of light, in which 
the channels of righteousness are opened, and jus 
tice done to those who remain silent under injuries : 
Here I have seen, under humbling exercise of mind, 
that the sins of the fathers are embraced by the 
children, and become their sins, and thus, in the days 
of tribulation, the iniquities of the fathers are visited 
upon these children, who take hold of the unrighte 
ousness of their fathers, and live in that spirit in 
which those iniquities were committed, to which 
agreeth the prophecy of Moses, concerning a re 
bellious people. ce They that are left of you shall 
pine away in their iniquity, in your enemies lands, 
and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they 
pine away with them/ Lev. xxvi. 39. And our 
blessed Lord^ in beholding the hardness of heart 


in that generation, and feeling in himself, that they 
lived in the same spirit in which the prophets had 
been persecuted unto death, signified, fc that the 
blood of all the prophets which was shed from the 
foundation of the world, should be required of that 
generation, from the blood of Abel, unto the blood 
of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and 
the temple/ Luke xi. 51. 

Tender compassion fills my heart toward my 
fellow-creatures, estranged from the harmonious 
government of the Prince of Peace, and a labour 
attends me, that they may be gathered to this peace 
able habitation. 

In being inwardly prepared to suffer adversity for 
Christ s sake, and weaned from a dependence on the 
arm of flesh, we feel, that there is a rest for the peo 
ple of God, and that it stands in a perfect resignation 
of ourselves to his holy will. In this condition, all 
our wants and desires are bounded by pure wisdom, 
and our minds wholly attentive to the council of 
Christ, inwardly communicated, which hath ap 
peared to me as a habitation of safety for the Lord s 
people, in times of outward commotion and trouble; 
and desires, from the fountain of pure love, are 
opened in me, to invite my brethren and fellow- 
creatures to feel for, and seek after that which ga 
thers the mind into it. 


Mount Holly, New Jersey, 
4th Mouth, 1772. 


Printed by William Phillips, George Yard, Ltfmbard Street. 






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